Cardiovascular Genetics Risk Assessments & Treatments

Understanding that certain forms of heart disease can be inherited offers important opportunities to rapidly diagnose patients and their family members. These individuals may carry certain genes that place them at risk for heart disease, but if they are not aware of these genes, they may miss out on early treatment or preventive care that could be lifesaving in some cases.

Because of this, it's important for people to know whether they would benefit from the services offered at the Familial Heart Disease Clinic. Anyone who exhibits signs or symptoms of genetic-based cardiovascular conditions or has a family history of cardiovascular disease should consider visiting the Familial Heart Disease Clinic at UI Health.

Cardiovascular Genetics Risk Assessments

Our comprehensive risk assessments are tailored to each individual to ensure we are searching for the proper genetic factors that contribute to inherited heart disease. Our genetic counselor will perform a consultation with patients before any tests are performed to discuss risks, benefits, and the cost of testing. Most genetic testing is performed using simple saliva samples or blood draws.

Patients also will discuss heart disease with one or multiple physicians to discuss the effects of the disease, how to treat and manage it, and whether other members of their family should pursue testing.

Thanks to our partnerships with various organizations, we are able to work with families to provide affordable options and minimize the cost of genetic testing for underserved populations. We want to be sure that all of our patients can receive the testing and treatment they need in a comfortable and affordable manner.

Treatment Plans for Genetic Cardiovascular Disease

Our cardiologists coordinate testing with the genetic counselor and meet to discuss test results and treatment plans for patients. All members of the team receive test results as they arrive, so they can collectively interpret them. Interpreting genetic test results can be difficult for non-geneticists, but the highly trained members of our clinic are well-versed in effectively interpreting results while keeping patients' background and family history in mind.

From there, our team can discuss treatment options with patients and their families. Treatments for existing familial heart conditions include medication and procedural therapies. For patients who are at risk of developing a heart condition, our team can also recommend medication and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk. We perform close monitoring to make sure we can administer treatment as soon as possible, if a cardiovascular condition arises. Our team members maintain constant communication with each other and meet monthly to review all patient cases to ensure families are receiving the best care possible in a timely fashion.

Advancing Care for Genetic Cardiovascular Diseases

In some cases, we may not be able to identify the exact genetic basis for a patient's heart disease, or there may not be a widely available treatment option to address it. In these instances, our team engages in research and clinical trials to help advance the field of cardiovascular genetics and offer hope to our patients.

We perform research in-house and also participate in large scale clinical trials that are focused on developing new therapies and determining which genes are responsible for certain heart conditions. If patients qualify, they are welcome to participate in clinical trials, which may provide them with early access to experimental treatments while helping others with familial heart disease in the future.

Contact Us

To consult with a cardiovascular genetics expert, please request an appointment online or call 312.996.6480.