Making smart decisions
Why is genetic testing important when a genetic heart disease runs in a family?
If (the predisposition for) an inherited heart disease is present in a family, there is a 50% chance that this heart disease will be passed on to children.
Genetic heart diseases and cardiac arrhythmias can lead to heart failure or sudden death. Without any treatment, these diseases may turn out fatal. But if people do not know that a disease runs in their family, they never get tested. If someone has the predisposition, it doesn’t mean that this gene carrier will automatically develop heart problems and also become ill.
people per year
are discovered to have a
possible heart disease
(in the Netherlands)
of family members
with genetic disease
go to a GP or cardiologist
A patient speaks
Many questions in the family...
I have an inherited heart disease. My siblings have been asked to participate in a family screening, but only one brother and one sister will do it. The others don't want to know and I respect that, but it brings a lot of questions in our family.
Pros and Cons
No simple decision to make
If you have a heart disease and you are the first to be tested with a positive result, the rest of the family will know exactly which gene mutation is the sole cause of problems and what the consequences might be. So, the decision to do a genetic test is not only for yourself, but also can help other family members.
But if you have no symptoms at all, should you get tested? It appears to be wise to do it anyway for the sake of the family and maybe your (future) children. Of course, the screening result can be a lot better than expected, as the chance is 50% to have it or not.
Thanks to DNA Testing...
Many fellow-sufferers are sharing their story and experience about genetic testing: Suzanne, Marion and Patricia tell us how DNA test has been a game-changer in their lives… Perhaps they will help you or your loved ones to make the right choice.
“If you and/or family members have a specific mutation in the DNA, please make sure to have a good lifestyle, such as not smoking, checking that you have good blood pressure, exercising regularly and not being overweight… because this can significantly reduce the risk of serious consequences.
My medical advice
If someone in your family gets serious heart problems before the age of 50, please always consider the possibility that a DNA coding error runs in the family. In any case, make sure to discuss it with your GP or cardiologist.”
“It is important that more people get to know at early stage if they may have a genetic predisposition to heart disease, so that we can prevent heart problems and treat them right.”