There are various different types of genetic heart conditions and some are very rare. They are caused by faulty genes which can be passed from parent to child, and therefore may run in families.

Some genetic heart conditions cause arrhythmias while others cause cardiomyopathy or coronary heart disease (familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH)).


Often, the first sign of a genetic heart condition is when someone in the family dies suddenly and unexpectedly, with no obvious cause. This is sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS).


It can be difficult to diagnose a genetic heart condition but in some cases, relatives of someone who has been diagnosed with a genetic heart condition may be offered testing to see if they have the same faulty gene.


Some genetic syndromes can affect the heart, including Marfan syndrome, Down’s syndrome, LEOPARD syndrome and Williams’ syndrome.

We can’t do this without you

Through pioneering research and accessible education, Heart Research UK aims to reduce the number of people developing and dying from heart disease, while improving and extending the lives of those affected.

As a charity, we can only do this with your help.

People with certain types of heart disease have a higher risk of developing serious complications from Covid-19 and there is evidence that the virus can cause damage to the heart.

We must continue to do all we can to prevent and treat heart disease.

To help us fund more research and education, please make a small donation to help ensure we can continue our work, now and in the future.

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