Each new patient in the Heart Institute Genetic Counseling Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center meets with a licensed and board certified cardiovascular genetic counselor at the time of their clinic appointment. A comprehensive family history and past medical history are obtained and medical records are reviewed.
It may be helpful to think about how you would feel talking about your personal or family history of cardiovascular disease. Some individuals find it helpful to bring someone to help provide family history information, to ask questions and to provide support during the visit.
Request An Appointment
Our team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center prefers that each patient provide a written referral from a physician who is willing to speak with a member of the clinical staff, if desired.
Written referrals allow the genetic counselors to serve as a resource for other healthcare professionals caring for and managing many of the day-to-day symptoms of the patients. While referrals are preferred, they are not required.
Referrals can be faxed to the attention of the clinic at 513-803-1748. Please include:
* Referring physician's name
* Complete address
* Phone number
* Patient information
* Reason for referral
Before the first appointment, it will be helpful to collect information about family members who have had cardiovascular disease. Important information includes:
- What type of cardiovascular disease a family member had
- At what age the individual was diagnosed or experienced symptoms
- Heart-related procedures you or your family members may have had
- If a relative is deceased, the age and cause of death
Medical reports can sometimes be helpful, including echocardiogram and ECG reports, hospital medical records, autopsy reports and death certificates. This can assure that accurate information is used in assessing your family’s risk. Although these documents may be helpful, they are not always necessary for risk assessment.
Family History is an Important Part of Your Genetic Evaluation
A family history of cardiovascular disease can increase your own risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Learning more about your relatives who have had cardiovascular disease is an important step in determining your own risk. Health problems can be difficult to discuss, even with family members. It may be helpful to your relatives to know why you are asking about their health. Explain that the entire family could benefit from having the information.
Because family health history is such a powerful screening tool, the surgeon general has created a new computerized tool to help make it fun and easy for anyone to create a sophisticated portrait of their family’s health.
The web-based tool helps users organize family history information and then print it to give to their healthcare providers. In addition, the tool allows users to save their family history to their own computer and even share it with family members. Access the My Family Health Portrait web tool.