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Inherited Heart Conditions

Learn about inherited heart conditions

Knowing how your genes can impact your heart health can help you and your doctor create a personalized plan to prevent heart problems.

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Heart disease is caused by a combination of factors.

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Unhealthy diet

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Being overweight

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Smoking and drinking

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Your genetics

Some heart conditions can be genetic.

Inherited heart conditions are passed on through families and are caused by a change (or mutation) in one or more of our genes. There are many types of inherited heart conditions, including:

Heart Illustration


An abnormality of the heart muscle making it harder for the heart to pump blood to the body


An abnormality of the heart rhythm causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly


Problems with the structure of the arteries in many parts of the body, including the heart

Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)

Causes very high cholesterol from a young age and makes you more likely to get coronary heart disease.

Insights into inherited heart conditions to help
you and your healthcare provider build a heart
health plan.

DNA Analyzing Illustrion

Some heart conditions can be genetic.

1 in 200 people have a heart condition with a genetic basis.2 , 3 , 4 If left undetected and untreated, these conditions can be life-threatening.

Inherited heart conditions can be successfully managed.

Finding out early can help you and your healthcare provider create a personalized plan to prevent heart disease or sudden cardiac arrest.

This information can help your family, too.

Because inherited heart conditions can run in families, knowing whether you’re at risk can help your loved ones take proactive care of their own heart health.

Let’s take a closer look at FH.

People with high cholesterol and FH are 22 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than
those with normal cholesterol and no FH.5 Knowing your genetic risk can help you work with your
healthcare provider to create a personalized cholesterol-lowering plan that might include:

Genetics Healthcare Provider

Cholesterol management

If you have FH, your healthcare provider might recommend treatment with statins or alternative medications to help remove some of the extra cholesterol from your body.

Doctor and Patients

Lifestyle recommendations

Your healthcare provider may suggest lifestyle changes to limit FH’s impact on your health. They may recommend a regular exercise routine or a diet that’s low in saturated and trans fats, salt, and added sugars.6

Genetics Brochure

Family care

As hereditary health disorders run in families, your results can help your loved ones understand their health risk.

Knowing is Everything

People often don’t know that they have an inherited heart condition.

Most people with inherited heart conditions often don’t experience symptoms and don’t know they’re at risk. If left undetected and untreated, inherited heart conditions can lead to problems such as coronary heart disease, heart attacks, sudden cardiac arrest, or heart failure.

Genetic testing can help you take proactive care of your heart.

Knowing your risk for inherited heart conditions can help you take proactive actions such as:

  • Allowing you and your healthcare provider to create a plan to prevent potentially serious heart events.
  • Helping your healthcare provider make tailored recommendations, such as regular monitoring of your heart’s rhythm or cholesterol-lowering medications.
  • Identifying family members who can be tested and start treatment, if needed.
Genetics Kit

A test you can count on.
Based in evidence.

Unlike recreational genetic tests, we focus on thorough sequencing of genes to give you meaningful insights. We provide an affordable clinical-grade test that historically has cost thousands of dollars.

Thorough gene analysis

Just looking at snippets with recreational tests means you miss information—we take a more complete look.

Genes recognized by the CDC

We include all 10 genes recognized by the CDC as important for public health.7

Results to act on

Clinical results you may use with your doctor to guide your approach to health and prevention.**

Learn more about the benefits and limitations of genetic testing.

Most people receive a negative result.

This means no mutations associated with the 30 genes analyzed were identified. Not all genes covering the listed conditions are tested. It’s important to share your results with your provider to create a personalized healthcare plan.

A small percentage of people receive a positive result.

This means a mutation associated with the 30 genes analyzed was identified. It’s important to share your results with your provider to create a personalized healthcare plan.

It’s normal to find variants of uncertain significance.

It is common to see a genetic change that requires further research to determine if it is associated with an increased risk for developing inherited heart conditions. To date, most of the variants of uncertain significance that are further classified have been found to be harmless, though this process can sometimes take years.8

Additional evaluations may be recommended based on your health history.

If you have a personal or family history of specific heart conditions, additional evaluations by a cardiologist may be recommended.

Heart conditions can be affected by many factors.

Even if your results show no mutations, you may still develop an inherited heart condition. While Color’s Hereditary Heart Health Test looks at 30 genes associated with inherited heart conditions that have actionable treatment plans, factors like lifestyle, environment, and mutations in other genes not covered in the test, may increase the risk for these and other heart conditions as well.

A positive result does not mean that you will develop an inherited heart condition.

Not everyone with a mutation in one of these genes has or will develop an inherited heart condition. But knowing you have a mutation can help your healthcare provider make tailored recommendations.

Useful Resources

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association

Provides support, advocacy and education to patients, families, the medical community about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Also supports research and treatment development.

FH Foundation logo

FH Foundation

The FH Foundation is a patient-centered non-profit dedicated to research, advocacy, and education of all forms of FH.

AHA Logo

American Heart Association

Focused on building healthier lives free of heart disease by promoting heart healthy lifestyle choices, providing accessible education, and funding innovative research.

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Get to know what your genes say about your risk for common hereditary cancers and heart conditions, plus how your body processes certain medications.


1. Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2016 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2016;133(4):e38-e360.
PubMed Abstract.
2. Semsarian C. Update on the Diagnosis and Management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Heart Lung Circ. 2018;27(3):276-279.
PubMed Abstract.
3. Semsarian C, Ingles J, Maron MS, Maron BJ. New perspectives on the prevalence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(12):1249-54.
PubMed Abstract.
4. Fteropoulli T, Stygall J, Cullen S, Deanfield J, Newman SP. Quality of life of adult congenital heart disease patients: a systematic review of the literature. Cardiol Young. 2013;23(4):473-85.
PubMed Abstract.
5. Khera AV, Won HH, Peloso GM, et al. Diagnostic Yield and Clinical Utility of Sequencing Familial Hypercholesterolemia Genes in Patients With Severe Hypercholesterolemia. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016;67(22):2578-89.
PubMed Abstract.
6. Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2014;129(25 Suppl 2):S76-99.
PubMed Abstract.
7. Genomics and Population Health Action Collaborative. The National Academies of Sciences. Published November 18, 2015. Available at
8. Richards S, Aziz N, Bale S, et al. Standards and guidelines for the interpretation of sequence variants: a joint consensus recommendation of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Genet Med. 2015;17(5):405-23.
PubMed Abstract