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Genetic risk factors identified for sudden cardiac death
Date:3/23/2009

r, they were particularly interested in common gene variants, which in each person can influence the length of the QT interval. They do not increase the personal disease risk as single genes, but rather in combination of genetic factors and in context with other risk factors such as medications or ischemia.

"We view this form of genome-wide search for common gene variants associated with widespread diseases as a very promising approach for making discoveries in totally uncharted territory," said Thomas Meitinger, describing the method. "In contrast to the study of single genes, this genome-wide approach offers entirely new starting points for the investigation of common diseases such as sudden cardiac death."

The provision of highly valid population-based data of test persons from the KORA study platform headed by Professor H.-Erich Wichmann, director of the Institute of Epidemiology at Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen, formed an essential basis for the successful realization of the research project.

The QTSCD study arose from long-standing close collaboration between human geneticists, cardiologists, epidemiologists and informaticians of Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen, the university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technische Universitt Mnchen and the university hospital of Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), Campus Grosshadern. Other partners of Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen in the QTSCD consortium were the scientists of the Heinz Nixdorf RECALL Study in Essen and the research center Life & Brain of the University of Bonn. Professor Aravinda Chakravarti of John Hopkins University in Baltimore was director of the project.

In a next step, follow-up studies shall confirm the connection between the new gene variants and sudden cardiac death. "We want to collect and evaluate further data on the respective individual genetic risk for arrhythmias in a large number of patients," Dr. Kb said. The common objective of the Helmholtz scientists and
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Contact: Sven Winkler
sven.winkler@helmholtz-muenchen.de
49-893-187-3946
Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen - German Research Center for Environmental Health
Source:Eurekalert

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