Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Cardiovascular disease can strike randomly, but scientists know that up to 15 percent of heart disease is caused by hereditary factors. The hereditary cardiovascular clinic offers specialized resources for patients diagnosed at a young age or with a strong history of cardiovascular disease and/or sudden cardiac death in their family.
Genetic testing can help you learn if you are at increased risk for hereditary cardiovascular disease, including structural problems (cardiomyopathies) and electrophysiological problems (arrhythmias).
ChristianaCare’s Familial Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment program will help you understand your individual risk factors for heart and vascular disease based on your personal and family history. Your genetic counselor will help you look at lifestyle choices and environmental factors that may increase your risk, and help you explore the role genetics play in your risk. This information will help you and your physician develop a plan to prevent or manage your risk for cardiovascular disease.
The Familial Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Program at ChristianaCare’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health can help you understand your risks for hereditary cardiovascular disease. Information from personal and family health histories, and from testing, will help you and your doctor develop the best plan to manage your risk of these and other inherited cardiovascular conditions that are passed down through generations including:
Hypercholesterolemia is a disease that makes the body unable to remove “bad” cholesterol, resulting in high levels of cholesterol in the blood (untreated adult LDL levels above 1900 mg/dl and total cholesterol levels above 310 mg/dl( and sometimes forming into small bumps on the skin that can appear on the hands, elbows, knees or around the eyes.
Keep in mind that while a family history of heart disease could be genetic, it could also reflect a family’s shared habit or lifestyle, such as smoking or a high-fat diet. Your genetic counselor can provide valuable information that will help you and your doctor put a plan in place to better manage your health, make informed family planning decisions and advise other relatives about potential high-risk factors.
Talk with a qualified genetic counselor today about whether genetic testing is right for you. To schedule a confidential consultation, call 302-623-4593, option 1, or toll-free at 1-800-811-8116.