We use cookies so our web site can function correctly. By clicking "OK" or by clicking into any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed.

Privacy Statement

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

Cookie group mandatory

(Req)
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are required

Functional

These cookies allow us to adtertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Marketing

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site.  All information collect is annonomas unless you provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Genetics and heart health – your questions answered

Professor Gerry Carr-White is Consultant Cardiologist at the Cardiac Genetics Clinic, a specialist clinic at HCA Healthcare UK for the diagnosis, investigation and treatment of inherited heart problems. In his role as VP of Cardiomyopathy UK, a leading heart muscle charity, he is an advocate for supporting those who have genetic heart problems and helps raise awareness of cardiomyopathy.

Have I inherited a heart problem?

If you are experiencing symptoms such as palpitations, blackouts or chest pain, or, if a parent, sibling or child has recently been affected or diagnosed with a heart complaint, then it’s important that your GP or cardiologist refers you to a specialist clinic to undergo genetic testing to understand your risk. 

If it is established that you have an inherited heart condition, a treatment plan can be put in place and it is advised that close relatives also undergo testing as they are also at risk. 

What are the most common inherited heart conditions?

The most common inherited cardiac conditions are:

What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic condition where the areas of the heart muscle become thickened and stiff, making it harder for the heart to contract and pump blood out to the body. Depending on where the thickening is, it can affect how blood flows out of the heart.

What tests are used to diagnose genetic heart problems?

At The Cardiac Genetics Clinic, located at London Bridge Hospital, we will first talk to a patient about their family and medical history, before asking them to come to the hospital and undertake an ECG and an ECHO test if clinically appropriate, to check the heart’s rhythm and the structure of the heart respectively. A 24-hour tape and exercise test may be undertaken and reviewed by the appropriate cardiac specialist. It's likely you will also be offered a genetic test to help determine the risk of an inherited condition. 

Your results will then be reviewed by a consultant cardiologist and consultant cardiac geneticist. You might simply require help with managing the symptoms, or we may suggest a suitable treatment option.

Diagnosing genetic heart conditions

Should other members of my family be screened?

If you have been diagnosed with a genetic cardiac condition, first-degree relatives will have a 50% chance of having the same gene, so it’s important to arrange family screening. At our clinic, we have a team of genetic counsellors who can speak with family members and talk them through the process. 

Which specialists are involved at our Cardiac Genetics Clinic?

At the Cardiac Genetics Clinic, we've brought together a whole team of specialists who are on hand to see and treat patients, including:

  • Consultant cardiologists
  • Consultant cardiac geneticists
  • Cardiac nurses
  • Genetic counsellor support

At our clinic we ensure we have every aspect covered to provide the best level of care to every patient and as part of the HCA UK network, we can provide onwards referral to a wide range of specialists such as a respiratory physician or cardiac surgeon, should this be needed. 

back to top