Inova Cardiovascular Genomics Center

VIDEO –Lynn Hunter shares how genomics at Inova helped diagnose her with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that caused symptoms her entire life, but was previously misdiagnosed.

The Inova Cardiovascular Genomics Center specializes in the care of adult and pediatric cardiovascular patients and their families with both inheritable genetic diseases (diseases due to biological fingerprint or DNA) and genomic diseases (diseases that have both an inherited component, but are also related to other environmental or acquired factors). See a list of common conditions we treat arrows

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality within the United States, accounting for approximately 1 out of every 4 deaths. Despite great improvements in survival with treatments like aspirin, cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins, and devices like stents or pacemakers, cardiovascular disease remains a significant health problem. Many cardiovascular conditions are genetically inherited, meaning that certain genes you were born with may predict disease later in life.

Our multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Genomics team involves highly specialized cardiovascular specialists, certified and licensed genetic counselors, a dedicated laboratory for genomic testing and a cardiovascular geneticist. This team can improve your care and treatment options by offering their expertise in the diagnosis and management of your cardiovascular disease. 

What is cardiovascular genomics?

Genetics refers to the study of a single genes and the heredity of traits. Some cardiovascular conditions are associated with single genes and have a clear inheritance pattern running through families. Genetic testing for these groups of conditions may guide treatment and management for you, as well as identify family members who may have an up to 50% chance of having the same genetic cardiovascular condition.

On the other hand, genomics refers to the study of the entire genome. Genomics encompasses understanding how variations in many genes interact with each other to contribute to disease such as cardiovascular disease. Often, a combination of genomic and external factors, such as lifestyle and other exposures, lead to cardiovascular disease. The Inova Cardiovascular Genomics Center will consider how your genomic information interacts with other proteins and molecules in your body to influence your chance of cardiovascular disease.

Here at Inova we believe the next frontier in combating cardiovascular disease involves the integration of a precise approach to cardiovascular diagnostics and therapeutics that relies on an individual’s genome.

Am I predisposed to cardiovascular disease?

We are all at risk for cardiovascular disease, and the risk can be mediated by a combination of factors including our diets, lifestyle, physical fitness, environmental exposures (e.g., tobacco or alcohol), medical diagnoses (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity) and our genes. In certain individuals these genes may play a significant role in mediating the risk for cardiovascular disease and in others, may contribute only a small amount to your lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.

Further, if desired and appropriate, we can work with you to help your family understand their risk for cardiovascular disease in the future. Ultimately, genomics may involve diseases you are born with, but it also encompasses understanding the interaction of those genes with your environment, different therapeutics, and lifestyle modifications – our goal is to improve your cardiovascular health in a manner that is catered precisely to you as an individual.

For more information about our Cardiovascular Genomics Center or to schedule an appointment please call 703-776-6453 or email