• By Dana Sparks

Science Saturday: Is your family at risk for genetic cardiovascular disease?

February 17, 2018

a medical illustration for rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease graphic on Discovery's Edge
With cardiovascular disease a leading cause of death, it’s fair to say that many people have been touched by this disorder. Maybe a family member died suddenly of a heart attack, or a friend suffered a disabling stroke. February is American Heart Month, a great time to talk about the precision approach Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine is taking to improve cardiovascular health.

Genomic screening to improve heart health

Mayo Clinic screens patients and their families for familial hypercholesterolemia, also known as FH, through the FH Clinic. FH is an inherited condition that runs in families and leads to high levels of blood cholesterol and plaque build-up in arteries. LDL cholesterol levels are often above 190 mg/dL. This disorder affects one of every 14 cases of high cholesterol. But, research has shown 80 to 90 percent of patients with this condition in the United States don’t know they have it. Sometimes people have recognizable symptoms, but most times there are no red flags, until a premature heart attack or another sudden cardiac event such as stroke.

This article is written by Susan Buckles. Read the rest of the article on the Centers for Individualized Medicine blog.

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