How Your Genes May Predict Your Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States, which means anything we can do to assess your risks are steps well worth taking. In some cases, this may involve genetic testing.

When it comes to heart health, Dr. Scott Lafferty and our team here at Lafferty Family Care offer comprehensive cardiac prevention assessments. By gathering as much information as possible about your risks, we can take the steps necessary to mitigate these risks.

Here’s a look at how your genes may be able to predict your heart health.

Your genes and your health

To better understand how genes can affect your health, let’s quickly review their roles. In brief, genes are made up of DNA, which you inherit from both parents. The average human carries more than 20,000 genes, and each of these genes has two copies — one from your mother and one from your father.

If a parent carries specific genetic mutations in their genes, these are passed along to you. Depending on which of the two genes you inherit from your parents is dominant, you can then inherit that mutation.

What a genetic test reveals

The first thing to note is that genetic testing doesn’t indicate whether you will develop cardiovascular disease, but it lets us know whether you have a heightened risk.

In general, genetic testing for heart disease is helpful in identifying your risk for the following conditions:

Outside of these specific diseases, genetic testing can also tell us whether you may be responsive to certain medications, such as statins.

To give you an idea of the types of gene mutations we’re looking for, check out this page on our website for more details.

Should I be tested?

To determine whether you can benefit from genetic testing, we first take a look at your family history of heart disease. If we find a pattern of certain cardiovascular conditions, or one or both of your parents had heart issues, this may warrant genetic testing. 

Other guidelines for genetic testing include:

Ultimately, genetic testing for cardiovascular disease certainly isn’t for everyone. To determine whether you should be tested, the first step is to schedule a cardiac prevention assessment at our office in Bentonville, Arkansas. To get started, click here.

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