This post is sponsored by Invitae and SHE Media
Invitae is a leading medical genetics company committed to making genetic testing accessible and affordable to anyone who could benefit
Amidst all of the concerns caused by the coronavirus, please don’t forget about taking care of the rest of your body too. Following is a post that I recently wrote about being proactive about your heart health:
Last month, I attended #BlogHer20 Health in Los Angeles. During this wellness-oriented conference I attended a very insightful and informative panel on heart health and how to better understand your risks for heart disease. This enlightening panel was sponsored by Invitae, a leading medical genetics company whose mission is to make comprehensive genetic health information more mainstream.
Since I am a woman over age 50 and know that heart disease runs in my family, I was very interested in attending this panel and getting tips and insights to help me better understand and manage my risks for hereditary heart conditions. Some of the most important things that I learned from the panel were:
- Your genes can unlock valuable information about your health, including your risks for hereditary cancers and heart disease
- Understanding your genes allows you to be more proactive about your health, like taking the right medications and talking to your doctor about getting the appropriate screening
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.
- Inherited heart conditions can sometimes be missed through normal check-ups, like blood work and stress tests
- To better understand your genetic predisposition towards certain diseases, when you get together with family make a point of interviewing them about your health/family health history and risks
Upon further investigation for this post, I learned that Invitae’s medical-grade genetic tests are the same tests trusted by doctors around the world and that patients can initiate these tests directly from their website. In addition to providing medically actionable and affordable genetic tests, Invitae also provides patients with access to a genetic counselor who can answer any of their questions, help them understand results, and help create an action plan.
While doing my research for this post, I also learned a lot about heart health and inherited cardio conditions like:
- Heritable cardio conditions are not rare, but they are underdiagnosed
- 20% of early heart attacks are caused by hereditary high cholesterol
- Heart health is impacted by a combination of lifestyle and your genes
- An Invitae Cardio Screen looks at 77 genes to help determine your risk of developing an inherited form of cardiovascular disease
After the informative panel and learning about the genetic cardio screening that Invitae offers, I realized that being healthy is so much more than eating the right foods and exercising. By being proactive and undergoing genetic heart screening, you can determine your risk factors in advance and take steps to prevent or treat heart disease before it becomes a much bigger problem. In order to truly understand our bodies and prepare for a healthy future, we should have a clear picture of our genetic risks in order to make informed decisions for our future health.
As part of this collaboration, I also had the opportunity to do an Invitae Cardio Health Genetic Screening and I wanted to share my experience with you. My test-taking experience was simple and easy to do at home and it wasn’t at all intimidating or time consuming because I didn’t have to visit a doctor’s office. You start your order online and answer a few questions about your personal and family health history. That information is reviewed by a clinician to make sure this test is right for you. Then, they send you a pre-labeled vial and postage-paid box and they give you clear instructions for submitting your saliva sample. Once you have submitted and sealed your sample, you send it back to Invitae’s lab in a pre-paid box and a few weeks later you receive your results via email, that’s it!
Regardless of the results, Invitae offers genetic counseling as part of the testing process so that you are able to completely understand your results and decide whether further medical follow-up is needed. I was completely comfortable with the entire testing process and was impressed with the thorough and professional follow-up and consultation services provided. It’s nice to know that Invitae’s high-quality genetic screening tests are accessible to all of us and that we all have the ability to take charge of our own health before the onset of genetically passed down diseases unnecessarily manifest themselves in our lives.
How would you live your life differently if you knew that you were predisposed to a certain genetic disease?