The recent and rapid development of molecular genetics in cardiovascular diseases has created a new understanding of their pathogenesis and natural history, and also new possibilities for the diagnosis of these genetic disorders through genetic testing. This has induced new expectations, and new demands, from both families and physicians regarding genetic counselling, DNA testing and application of this knowledge in clinical practice. A new task for cardiologists is therefore to integrate these data in order to give the most relevant information to the patients and the relatives, to discuss genetic testing, and to use the data to optimise the management of the family. At the same time the various impacts of genetic management such as psychological, social, ethical and legal issues should be recognised, anticipated and taken into account. This is possible through a close collaboration between cardiologists and members of other medical or nonâ€medical disciplines such as geneticists, genetic counsellors, psychologists, and molecular biologists.