Are There Any Genetic Tests For Heart Disease?

Question: Are there any genetic tests for heart disease?

Answer: Many patients will ask about, 'Could I have genetic testing to determine heart disease? My dad had it, my mom had it, is there some way to do a blood test to know whether I'm likely to have it?'

There are many genes that have been associated with heart disease. However, the testing right now is not at the state that we can tell, 'Is any specific gene more likely to be a serious kind of heart disease, or will it predict what kind of treatments are best for me?'

I think this is going to change in the next few years. This -- for instance, five years ago, there were only seven genes identified for diabetes. This year, there's 47. So, we're learning a lot more about these genes, and particularly, I believe that we'll be moving in an area to know what their significance is in the type of disease that you might get, and secondly, what type of treatments are you most likely to respond to through genetic testing. But it's not ready for primetime today.

Next: How Many Risk Factors Must I Have Before I Should Get Tested For Heart Disease?

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