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Cardiovascular diseases affects over 3 million Canadians, and over 750, 000 Canadians are living with heart failure. Almost 1 in 3 Canadians are touched by heart failure, and over 100,000 new Canadians are diagnosed with heart failure every year. The death rate is 3 times higher for adults aged 20 and over with heart disease versus those without. This risk increases to > 6 times for adults aged 40 and over with the diagnosis of heart failure. Men are 2 times more likely to suffer a heart attack than woman, and men are often diagnosed with heart disease 10 years younger than women.

Genetics also plays a significant role in the development of heart disease. It is often seen in South Asian Canadians who have a 3-5 times greater risk of developing heart disease compared to Canadians from other ethnic backgrounds. Familial Hypercholesterolemia is a genetic condition that causes high cholesterol. and if left untreated, it could cause heart attacks in 30% of the women by age 60 and 50% of men by age 50. Some inherited gene mutations could affect the structure of heart muscle. This could result in the development of heart failure. It's estimated that >50% of patients with Dilated Cardiomyopathy (type of heart failure condition where people do not have a history of blockages in the heart arteries or have had heart attacks) could have genetic mutations that can further increase their risk of sudden cardiac death.

In sports, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a genetic condition where the heart muscle is thicker) or arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (a genetic condition where electrical conduction system doesn't work properly) could lead to sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes. Athletes with cardiac symptoms, a family history of inherited cardiac conditions or sudden cardiac death at a young age, and those with abnormal ECG or structural traits suggestive of cardiac disease should be referred for cardiac assessments before they can participate in competitive sports.

Calgary-based genomics and precision health company, BioAro, is taking an initiative to launch the genetic testing of targeted panels for heart disease conditions using high-throughput next generation sequencing technique.

"Genetic testing is a powerful tool to guide physicians in the diagnosis, make precise medical predictions (precision medicine), individualize therapy and provide counselling on patient's cardiac risk during health assessment. The goal of precision medicine is to provide the right treatment, at the right time, tailored to a patient's individual needs considering the unique genes and environment of each patient." says Dr Anmol S Kapoor. Cardiologist and CEO of BioAro.

Genetic testing at BioAro can provide a cost-effective and accurate genetic diagnostic tool for patients with cardiovascular diseases. They provide support through expanded services including genetic counselling, cardiology and dietitian consultations, and family variant testing. BioAro also offers Whole Genome Sequencing of over 20,000 genes along with comprehensive microbiome analysis for skin, oral gut, or vaginal disorders.

BioAro's targeted panels that can help assess development of heart diseases and identify individualized prevention strategies.

Heart Failure: Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which your heart muscle can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs all the time. This can happen due to blockages in coronary arteries. hypertension. and various problems associated with the heart muscle. conduction system or congenital heart diseases. This panel includes testing for the most frequent 14 genes responsible for causing heart failure. This test helps patients and physicians in timely diagnosis by identifying the underlying reason for heart failure, appropriate clinical management, and risk stratification especially for other family members.

Hypertension: persistent and prolonged increase in blood pressure, commonly referred to as hypertension, is a major risk factor for stroke, heart diseases and renal failure. It can stay asymptomatic and undetected for a long period of time in the majority of the population. This panel includes 12 genes, which can help assess the risk of developing hypertension particularly if both the parents are affected.

lschemic heart disease (IHD): IHD (or coronary artery disease) is a major global health problem of pandemic proportions. It occurs due to blockage in one or more arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. It can be a precursor for several other fatal diseases including heart failure, sudden cardiac death etc. This panel examines 8 genes commonly associated with ischemic heart disease. Early diagnosis and increased surveillance not only reduce the risk of fatal outcomes in patients, but also helps define the risk of IHD in other family members.

Sudden Cardiac Death: Sudden cardiac death commonly occurs due to irregular electrical activity in the heart (e.g., ventricular fibrillation). It can affect older and younger adults, especially young athletes, who may be clinically stable otherwise. This panel includes 10 genes for genetic testing and risk stratification of individuals with or without any symptoms or family history of heart disease.

BioAro recently launched its genomics and microbiome services, bringing ease of access and the most comprehensive health analysis of DNA to the North American public before its global expansion

Last year BioAro, launched its comprehensive genetic and microbiome testing services. Canadians and Albertans can learn about their inherited and acquired health risks and healthcare providers can recommend treatments & lifestyle choices, based on the results. Unlike other direct-to-consumer genetic testing service companies, BioAro sequences and develops a map of your entire genome and specifically analyzes over 20,000 genes known to be involved in various diseases. BioAro testing starts with a simple cheek swab (testing with blood and biopsy samples is also available) and involves ordering a collection kit online, collecting the sample at home, either mailing it back or dropping it off at one of the BioAro laboratories for sequencing and analysis, then receive a unique individual digital report.

BioAro laboratories are located in Calgary, AB, Vancouver, BC, Winnipeg, MB, and Toronto, ON, however, sample collection kits are available to customers across North America. Whether you order microbiome or genetic sequencing, BioAro has expert genetic counselors and wellness advisors on staff, to help you understand your report and develop a program toward health and wellness. BioAro also provides genetic monitoring services, which allow you to monitor your genes and re-analyze your data based on new health research findings across the world. BioAro is also able to re-analyze your genetic tests performed by other companies.

BioAro's services are available to customers within North America during this first phase of the launch. Following this, BioAro aims to provide testing and analysis globally. BioAro's microbiome analysis goes beyond the gut and includes gut (large or small intestine), vaginal, skin, and oral microbiomes through home collection kits. Their microbiome services can inform you of the composition and diversity of your microbiome, allowing you to understand how "healthy" and "unhealthy" bacteria levels may impact your body, diet, and mental health.

BioAro provides health information as unique as you. BioAro's whole exome, whole genome, and microbiome sequencing services come with options for customization of the analysis you receive. Tailor your tests to target specific areas of concern, such as panels related to the most prevalent diseases affecting Canadians, like cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and mental illnesses, or more wellness-focused information like food sensitivities, vitamin uptake, and rare genetic disorders. Rest assured, BioAro generates one of the most comprehensive and accurate risk analysis on the market. BioAro's analysis system is integrated with cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI)-based software, allowing access to a comprehensive database for comparison with up-to-date genetic studies.

BioAro helps keep your information current. DNA analysis does not have to be a one-time check on your health. As the field of genomics grows, so does our understanding of how your health can be affected. BioAro offers monitoring services to ensure your health recommendations and information stay current. Genetic analysis can be beneficial at any stage of life, whether in-utero through infancy, adulthood, or as an older adult. Improve, maintain and enhance your wellness by reducing the time it takes to find effective medications or remedies for inherited or acquired diseases. BioAro caters to many health conditions, such as pain management, mental health, nutrition and cancer treatments. Therefore, other services such as pharmacogenomics and nutrigenomic services are available. These additional options can help identify medication choices and customize nutrition options compatible with your genome.

BioAro grows with you. With a commitment to continue expanding and optimizing its services, BioAro is ready to take requests to curate new genetic panels. A single comprehensive panel for women's health is already in the works. Still, custom panels can extend to 'leisure' focusing on certain sports for the athlete or to environmental sensitivities for travelers.

At BioAro, a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, scientists, bio-informaticians, and other care providers work together to evaluate your health condition through advanced technology of genetic testing and provide counselling. They also have a Genetic Monitoring Program (GMP). where patients receive personalized bi-annual reports of the risk associated with various diseases from latest published research. Patients can be referred for comprehensive cardiac assessment, or they can also contact BioAro directly.

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