Monday, March 7, 2011

Studies find gene links to world's biggest killer

Scientists have found 13 new gene variants that increase a person's risk of developing heart disease, the world's number one killer, in a series of large-scale international genetic studies. The discovery of 13 previously unknown gene variations and the confirmation of around 10 more should offer clues about how heart ailments such as coronary artery disease develop, and lead to new and more effective treatments, the researchers said. The findings also suggest it may be worth mapping someone's profile of genetic variants for heart problems as part of routine clinical care in the future, with an eye to being able to offer more personalized prevention or treatment plans. "With such information we should be able to better identify people at high risk early on in life and quickly take the steps to neutralize that excess risk," said Themistocles Assimes of Stanford University School of Medicine in the United States, one of many scientists across the world who worked on the study. - Reuters

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