Heart Problems and Preventative Measures: How Genetic Testing Could Save Your Life
Heart attacks, strokes, coronary heart disease (CHD)… There are so many problems that can affect our delicate hearts, and yet it is so vital to our lives. There are so many problems in fact, that there is an umbrella term that covers all these problems: Cardiovascular Disease or CVD.
It is such a large problem that the disease causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK, which equates to over 150,000 deaths each year. According to the British Heart Foundation, this means an average of 425 people per day die from Cardiovascular Disease.
Throughout the years, we have taken steps to help people prevent these afflictions, or work through them if they are already sufferers. However, we have now been able to take our biggest step yet in detecting these issues with the advent of Genetic Testing.
Despite the fact that we are unique on a genetic level, the fact remains that we share a great deal in common, and inherit genetic traits passed down from our parents and ancestors.
That simple fact means that somewhere in your genes could be an increased susceptibility to heart attacks, failure, congenital heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.
Luckily, that same fact also means that we are able to perform tests to spot that susceptibility and begin preventative treatments far earlier than normal.
These susceptibilities can be hereditary, usually because of a faulty gene that inflicts Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (or FH), a condition that highly increases the odds that someone will suffer from a heart attack or another form of CVD.
• 7 million UK residents currently live with CVD
• Over 40,000 people under the age of 75 in the UK die from CVD each year
• The early stages and lifestyle choices that contribute to it begin when we are very young, building up until it becomes a real problem, which means diagnosing and treating these susceptibilities is vital
• If one person is found with FH, on average half of their siblings and children will also have the faulty gene and be very susceptible to early heart disease
How Does the Test Work?
Due to the advances in science and practices, the method to carry out the test is neither intrusive nor painful. It is as simple as taking a little blood. Your blood contains DNA samples, which can then be studied to determine your level of risk on a genetic level.
If you have any questions about your own risk level or want to know more about genetic testing, we would suggest getting in touch with one of our team.