Genetic Background of Cardiovascular Conditions that can cause SCD


Some life-threatening arrhythmias are genetic and run in families. These conditions are caused by an alteration, or mutation, in a gene. Some genese are responsible for normal heart development and function. Genetic heart disease occurs when one or more of these cardiac genes is altered. These gene mutations are typically passed down from one generation to the next. Many of the genes that cause genetic heart disease are well known by medical professionals, so people with these conditions and their family members can be tested to find out if they are at risk to develop these conditions.

Genetic services

Cardiac genetic counselors assess a patient's personal and family history for inherited heart conditions, identify family members who may be at risk, make family cardiac screening recommendations, address important issues that arise for families with hereditary heart conditions, and explain and facilitate genetic testing. Patients living in the San Francisco Bay area can call 415-353-2873 to book an appointment for genetic counseling at UCSF. A listing of genetic counselors is available here.

Specialized Cardiovascular Genetic Counseling Clinics

Postmorterm genetic testing

  • DNA Banking
  • GenomeConnect/Patient Crossroads: A NIH patient portal, or registry, that is working to build the knowledge base about genetics and health that will allow researchers and doctors to study the impact of genetic variation on health conditions.