​Cardiovascular Genetic Counseling and Testing at The Christ Hospital

The Christ Hospital offers genetic counseling for people who have a personal or family history of cardiovascular disease. This type of counseling can help you and your family understand your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and take steps to reduce your risk. The genetic counselor will talk to you about the option of having genetic testing.

You do not need a referral for cardiovascular genetic counseling or testing. If you are unsure whether these services are a good fit for you, talk to your primary care provider or cardiologist, or call our Precision Medicine Program at 513-585-3275.

Is Cardiovascular Genetic Counseling Right for Me?

Cardiovascular genetic counseling may be helpful for people who have a personal or family history of:

  • Arrhythmia, a condition that causes your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly

  • Cardiomyopathy, a condition that makes it harder for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body

  • High cholesterol

  • Vascular disease, such as an aortic aneurysm before the age of 50

Another reason to consider genetic counseling is if a close family member died of a heart attack suddenly or at a young age.

What Happens at the Cardiovascular Genetic Counseling Appointment?

Cardiovascular genetic counseling takes place in the medical office building at The Christ Hospital. You will meet with a board-certified genetic counselor who has advanced training in heart and vascular genetics. The counselor will talk to you about:

  • Your personal health history, especially any concerns that could be heart-related, such as fainting, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat

  • Your family history of cardiovascular disease

  • Your risk of developing specific types of cardiovascular disease

  • Heart disease screening, monitoring and prevention options

  • Diagnostic and treatment options

The counselor also will talk to you about the option of genetic testing, including:

  • Genetic tests that could provide more information about your risk

  • The testing process and the limitations and accuracy of genetic tests

  • Emotional, psychological and social consequences of knowing the test results

Before your first appointment, we encourage you to collect as much information as you can about your family's cardiovascular health history. The counselor will ask you about first-degree relatives (parents, children and siblings) and second-degree relatives (grandparents, aunts and uncles). Be sure to take note of any known diagnoses and the age of diagnosis.

If your genetic counseling appointment and genetic test results indicate that you are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, your family members may be at risk, too. Your genetic counselor will talk to you about this and provide information to help them decide whether to seek genetic counseling and testing.

Convenient Genetic Testing

During your genetic counseling appointment, the counselor will talk to you about whether genetic testing is right for you. If you decide to have genetic testing, you can:

  • Have your blood drawn at The Christ Hospital lab

  • Provide a saliva sample using a convenient at-home kit

Test results are usually available within two to three weeks. The genetic counselor will contact you by phone or your patient portal (depending on your preference) to discuss your results and what they mean.

The genetic counselor will share information with your provider about your genetic risk for cardiovascular disease. Your provider can use this information to develop a prevention and treatment plan, which may include making lifestyle changes, having more frequent heart screenings or taking medication, for example.

Is Genetic Counseling and Testing Covered by Insurance?

Your insurance may cover genetic counseling and/or genetic testing. Be sure to contact your insurance carrier about your specific coverage.

For More Information or to Make an Appointment

For more information about genetic counseling at The Christ Hospital or to schedule an appointment, call 513-585-3275. Or you may schedule your appointment online by selecting one of the options below: 

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