Heart disease is responsible for over 600,000 deaths in the U.S. each year making it the leading (non-pandemic) cause of death in the U.S. Heart disease includes a number of different conditions that relate to your heart’s rhythm, muscle, and blood vessels. Luckily there are things we can all do to lower our risk for, or even prevent heart disease. Learning about what your genetics can tell you about your heart can be a good first step. Recently, Senior Product Scientist at 23andMe, Alisa Lehman, and Chief Clinical Officer at Lemonaid Health, Dr. Davis Liu, MD, participated in a nationwide satellite media tour to discuss how genetics can help people take a proactive approach to their health.
When we look at the human genome, everyone is very similar. However, there are places in our DNA that are different from person to person, which are called genetic variants. Some of these variants are associated with certain health conditions. At 23andMe, scientists look at the variants you may have and can tell you if you may be genetically predisposed to developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, or migraine, or conditions related to heart disease.
When it comes to heart disease, 23andMe’s personalized genetic reports can currently tell you if you're at an increased likelihood of developing conditions that affect your heart health, like high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or high cholesterol.
While genetics can give you a lot of insights about your likelihood of developing heart disease, there are many other factors that impact whether you actually go on to develop heart disease, and many of these factors are under your control, like your diet or exercise habits. Consult with your healthcare professional if you are concerned about your likelihood of developing heart disease, or if you have a personal or family history of heart disease.
For more information, visit 23andMe.com