A DNA Test Can Help Identify Your Risk of Developing Heart Disease


In recognition of American Heart Month, it’s a great time to look at an advance in DNA testing that could predict your genetic predisposition to heart disease. Many Americans don’t know their family health history, would you consider it worthwhile to know your risk of developing heart disease?

Are You at Risk?

Genetic tests look for mutations in a gene sequence that signal an increased risk for hypertension, atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, and many other diseases. You can have zero, one, or two copies of the variants; the more copies, the higher your risk.

For example, there are about 30 sites in the DNA sequence that is identified as increasing risk of heart attack. The more variants you carry, the greater your risk of heart attack.

What Can You Do With This Information?

If you are showing no signs (yet) of heart disease, your doctor will give you the same advice as most other people, watch your weight, exercise, don’t smoke, and eat healthily. The information is still helpful, of course, because your doctor will be able to take it into consideration when symptoms begin to present.

Testing For Medication Responses

What if you could know how your body will react to a medication before a fatal complication arises? One example of how genotyping helps involves clopidogrel (Plavix), a drug that prevents clots from forming inside a stent. Up to 30% of individuals have a gene variant preventing their liver from activating the drug, increasing their risk of a heart attack caused by a clot.

Genotyping For Heart Diseases

Genotyping may be more valuable in diagnosing inherited cardiac conditions (Mendelian diseases), controlled mainly by a single gene. In many of these diseases, there is a strong correlation between having the gene mutation and having the disease.

To learn more about our DNA testing services, contact Test Smartly Labs today at (816) 800-9699. We have five lab locations in the greater Kansas City area!

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