A genetic screening is a procedure to identify individuals who possess a trait of special interest, in this case a trait that is linked to early heart attacks or other forms of cardiovascular diseases. The idea being that individuals with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease are able to adjust their lifestyles before the disease manifests.
For example, there is a genetic variation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), occurring on chromosome 9. The variation, named 9p21, is currently the strongest known genetic predictor of early heart attack. Although it is currently not known by which mechanism 9p21 affects the cardiovascular system, it is established that carriers have a 20% increased risk of dying of an early heart attack. Furthermore, carriers of 9p21 show an increased risk of other forms of cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and aneurysms.
Genealogy of a family affected by Hypercholesterolemia (literally: high blood cholesterol), a metabolic derangement that contribute to many forms of disease, most notably cardiovascular disease.