Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the single largest cause of death in adults in the United States. Until recently, the genetic basis of CAD has been largely unknown, with just a few proven genes (typically genes for cholesterol disorders) accounting for very little of the disease in the population. Now, a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine shows that certain genetic profiles increase risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) while others uniquely increase risk of heart attacks in those with CAD. Researchers also discover blood group O Offers protection from heart attacks.
The researchers identified a new locus, ADAMTS7 (a gene already implicated in arthritis), which increased the risk of developing CAD. In the heart-attack comparison, the authors found a new association at the ABO blood group locus. They found that the same gene that codes for the enzyme behind people being blood group O offered protection against heart attacks.
The Lancet – Identification of ADAMTS7 as a novel locus for coronary atherosclerosis and association of ABO with myocardial infarction in the presence of coronary atherosclerosis: two genome-wide association studies
Our findings indicate that specific genetic predispositions promote the development of coronary atherosclerosis whereas others lead to myocardial infarction in the presence of coronary atherosclerosis. The relation to specific CAD phenotypes might modify how novel loci are applied in personalised risk assessment and used in the development of novel therapies for CAD
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