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Meta-Analysis Measures Genetic Testing, Genetic Counseling Use in Heart Disease Patients

Genetic counseling appears to improve satisfaction with genetic testing in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients and their family members, according to a study looking at uptake of recommended genetic testing and related patient-reported outcomes. As they report in the Journal of Genetic Counseling, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and other centers in the US and Canada performed a meta-analysis that included thousands of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients and/or potentially at-risk family members from four dozen prior studies. "Approximately half to three-quarters of patients with [hypertrophic cardiomyopathy] and their relatives undergo genetic testing or cascade screening," the authors write, noting that genetic counseling was linked to improved patient-reported outcomes after testing, while positive- or negative genetic test results did not seem to significantly sway satisfaction or patient-reported outcomes.