Center for Heart & Vascular Health

Evaluation Process

The Familial Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Program includes the following steps:

  • Risk assessment: We build a family tree adn analyze your family, medical and lifestyle histories.
  • Genetic counseling: We provide you with information about your risk for heart disease in an easy-to-understand manner. In addition, the genetic counselor will explore areas of concern for you and answer your questions about heredity and your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Genetic testing: We review the benefits, limitations and risks of genetic testing and help you understand the information so that you and your doctor can make a decision about genetic testing.
  • Discussion: We talk about strategies for early detection, reducing risks and aggressive management of heart disease.

We know that confidentiality is important in cardiovascular risk assessment. Our evaluation programs ensure that your family and medical history and genetic test results will not be released to anyone without your written consent.

What information is needed for an evaluation?

  • Much of the information can be obtained by talking with your parents, siblings, children, grandparents, uncles and cousins. Ask them:
  • What heart conditions have your family members had? Proper names are best. Some examples include:
    • Aneurysm of a major blood vessel, such as the aorta or in the brain.
    • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
    • Bypass surgery of a blocked artery in the heart or legs.
    • Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease or an enlarged heart).
    • Coronary artery diseases.
    • Diabetes.
    • Died young or suddenly.
    • Fainting eposides (syncope).
    • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
    • Heart attack.
    • Heart failure.
    • Heart transplant.
    • High blood pressure (hypertension).
    • High cholesterol.
    • Stroke or mini-stroke.
    • Sudden infant death syndrome.
  • How old were they when they were diagnosed?
  • How are they related to you?
  • Has genetic testing been performed on anyone in the family? If yes, do they have a copy of the results?

Proof of these conditions is helpful and can be found in medical records, lab reports and sometimes death certificates. If you have these documents, please bring them to your appointment. If not, we can help you obtain this information.

Familial Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Program
Center for Heart & Vascular Health
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, DE 19718 directions