About Cardiovascular Genetic Testing

The Center for Cardiovascular Genetics provides genetic testing to identify an individual's inherited risk of developing a cardiovascular condition.

Based on family history and genetic testing, physicians at the clinic assess the person's situation, look at steps to reduce risk and improve symptoms, and evaluate family members who also may be at risk.

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Strong Risk Factor

Family history is considered one of the strongest risk factors for developing health issues related to cardiovascular disease. Genetic testing, which is generally done through blood tests, can determine whether you are at higher risk for a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack.

Testing can also determine the likelihood of developing an inherited heart issue, like atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

Conditions Appropriate for Genetic Testing

The Center for Cardiovascular Genetics welcomes patients, with or without a referral, who are concerned about their and their family's cardiovascular disease risk. Genetic testing is appropriate for individuals who have:

  • Family history of early, sudden cardiac death, particularly at age 60 or younger
  • An abnormal electrocardiogram (EKG) test
  • Prior experiences of blackouts or sudden loss of consciousness
  • A diagnosis or family history of:
    • Cardiomyopathies (disorders of the heart muscle)
    • Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation, long QT syndrome and Brugada syndrome)
    • Marfan's syndrome (a disorder of the connective tissue that may affect the aorta)
    • Systemic diseases that may affect the heart, such as musculardystrophy or skeletal myopathy

If a cardiovascular concern is identified, physicians at the clinic follow the patient and family members over the long term, recommending preventive measures and proactive treatments to reduce cardiovascular disease risk and manage existing heart disease.

Meet Our Team

Usman Tahir, MD

Usman Tahir, MD

General Cardiology; Cardiovascular Genetics

Mark Benson, MD, PhD

Director, Cardiovascular Prevention