Public Release: 

Patients counseled on genetic heart disease risk feel they have more control over fate

Abstract 20188 (Hall A2, Core 2)

American Heart Association

Adults counseled on their genetic risk of coronary heart disease believe they have more control over their fate, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014.

Researchers examined the impact of disclosing risk of 10-year heart disease with or without genetic risk information to 207 patients (48 percent male, average age 58) participating in Myocardial Infarction GENES (MI-GENES), a randomized controlled study.

The study's key elements included a risk score based on established risk factors and a genetic risk score based on 28 single nucleotide polymorphisms; risk disclosure by a genetic counselor in a 30-minute session; and two questionnaires about patient satisfaction - perceived personal control and genetic counseling satisfaction.

Researchers found that patients who received the genetic risk information had a higher perceived personal control value compared to those who didn't (8.85 vs. 8.54). Patients who received genetic risk information also reported a higher genetic counseling satisfaction (9.08 vs. 8.3).

"We have shown that disclosure of genetic risk led to increased perceived personal control and counseling satisfaction, which are associated with the increased likelihood of adopting healthier behaviors that may reduce coronary heart disease risk," said Christopher L. Robinson, lead author of the study. MI-GENES Study information (PDF)


Christopher L. Robinson, M.D. candidate at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

Additional Resources:

  • Available multimedia resources (photos/videos/graphics) are available on the right column of the release link

  • For more news from AHA's Scientific Sessions, follow us on Twitter @HeartNews #AHA14

    Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at

    For Media Inquiries:

    AHA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173

    AHA News Media Office, Nov. 15-19,

    at the McCormick Place Convention Center: (312) 949-3400

    For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and

    Life is why we fund scientific breakthroughs that save and improve lives.

  • Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.