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What are the benefits of genetic testing concerning heart diseases?

Atherosclerosis, which is the plaque buildup in the heart, is caused by genetic factors as well as by environmental influences. The interactions of the genetic factors with the environmental influences such as our diet, our exercise habits, smoking, etc. will determine whether or not we develop heart disease. A number of studies have shown that approximately half of the risk of developing heart disease is attributed to genetic factors and approximately half of the risk is attributed to environmental factors. Therefore, when we can actually evaluate genetic variants and explain up to half of the risk of developing heart disease. However, even with all the known genetic variants that we can test for today, we can only explain about seven to 10% of the genetic predisposition and therefore, the genetic information is only one piece of the puzzle for risk stratification.
Potential benefits of genetic testing include additional incremental information for risk stratification and in some other cases certain genetic variants can predict whether or not a patient may respond to a certain medication better or worse than the population average.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.