Journal

Cardiac DNA Testing: A personalized approach to heart health

October 10, 2022

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Cardiac DNA testing is a non-invasive way to look for genetic variations that may put you at risk for heart disease. This type of testing is growing in popularity, as it provides detailed genetic information that can help you know the steps to take in order to best support your heart.
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What is Cardiac DNA Testing, and what does it involve? 
Cardiac DNA testing is a type of test that is used to look for specific genetic variations that act as a marker for heightened risk of heart disease. The test requires a saliva sample through a simple cheek swab from the person being tested. The sample is then used to analyze the DNA, specifically looking at SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) for any particular genetic variations. Through deep analysis, you can get a better idea of whether or not you’re at risk for developing heart disease. And in some cases, test results will also help guide lifestyle choices and treatment decisions.
What are SNPs?

In short, SNPs are what make each one of us who we are. Less than 1% of the total DNA among the human population is dissimilar. However, that 1% makes a big difference, and those differences are found within SNPs. SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation and are an exchange in the DNA code of one nucleotide for another.

There are over 20 million known SNPs that have been validated, and they’ve been used as the basis for genetic studies. The study of SNPs has helped to identify predictive markers that point to genetic predispositions for certain diseases and health conditions.

Different cardiac genetic tests analyze different SNPs. Four SNPs that have been well-researched as identifiers for cardiac disease risk include KIF6, MYH15, PALLD, and SNX19. Analyzing this combination of SNPs provide a picture of your risk for:

  • Coronary artery disease 
  • Myocardial infarction 
  • Cardiomyopathies (including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy) 
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What are other benefits of taking a Cardiac DNA Test? 

Our DNA is the blueprint for our bodies and our health. And our unique genetic variations tell the story of who we are, as well as the lifestyle choices we should ideally make in order to activate the best versions of ourselves. Up until relatively recently, healthcare has predominately used a “one-size-fits-all" approach, which is simply not effective. None of us are the same, and healthcare should reflect that. 

Cardiac DNA tests give us a more personalized healthcare option, allowing us to unlock our own valuable genetic information so we can make informed and empowered decisions, based on scientific data that’s unique to us. Especially if you have a family history of heart disease, or are concerned about your heart health, cardiac DNA tests are a safe, simple, and accessible tool for helping you choose the most appropriate route for current and future medical care based on your genetics. 

BE  YOUR OWN BEST HEALTH ADVOCATE


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BE  YOUR OWN BEST HEALTH ADVOCATE


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ARTICLE RESOURCES

1. Cardiac genetic testing for hereditary heart disease. (2022). Invitae.com. https://www.invitae.com/en/providers/cardiology/genetic-testing-insights

2. Musunuru, K., Hershberger, R. E., Day, S. M., Klinedinst, N. J., Landstrom, A. P., Parikh, V. N., Prakash, S., Semsarian, C., & Sturm, A. C. (2020). Genetic Testing for Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, 13(4). https://doi.org/10.1161/hcg.0000000000000067

3. Genetic testing. (2022). Bhf.org.uk. https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/tests/genetic-testing#:~:text=Genetic%20testing%20can%20be%20used,of%20hair%2C%20skin%20or%20tissue.

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6186468/

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC22154/ 

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