Are Your Genes a Heart-Risk Blueprint?


Learn more about how the Healthy Nevada Project could give care providers and scientists new insights into the role genetics play in heart disease.

Recently, Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute announced phase two of the Healthy Nevada Project a groundbreaking, community-based population health study. In phase two, heart disease is one specific area of research because of Washoe County and Nevada’s high age-adjusted death rates for heart disease. Chris Rowan, M.D., FACC, cardiologist with Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health, discusses how this project is giving us insights into genetics and heart disease.

What did you learn in the pilot phase of the Healthy Nevada Project?

The pilot phase of the Healthy Nevada Project proved Nevadans are excited to know more about themselves and want to contribute to research that could improve health outcomes for the entire state. Fifty percent of pilot study participants responded to a comprehensive, socioeconomic survey that gave us even further insight into their behavior so we can start to better understand nature vs. nurture.

For example, we learned study participants exercised less than recommended by the American Heart Association and expressed interest in receiving help with behavior modification using diet/nutrition and weight loss tools. In phase two, if study participants choose to complete a follow-up survey, they will have the chance to pick an additional health and wellness app specific to their individual genetic results.

RELATED:  Healthy Nevada Project: What We’ve Learned

How are you we going to use genetics to help reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease?

In the coming months, Renown Institute for Health Innovation will begin providing advanced calcium score screenings to pilot phase participants at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. This will allow researchers to examine the link between genetics and calcium buildup in the heart.

How can someone participate in phase two of the Healthy Nevada Project?

Our 10,000-person open enrollment closed in five days. We are now moving to the next 30,000 testing slots which will be demographic based. People can see if they are eligible, as well as receive updates and full details on the Healthy Nevada Project at

RELATED:  Healthy Nevada Project: The Next Generation