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Survival of heart patients on beta-blockers varies greatly with genetic variation

chromosomes had only a six percent mortality rate and were termed low-risk. Patients with any other combination of beta-2 gene variations had an overall 11 percent risk of death after three years and were classified as an intermediate-risk group.

"Our study makes it clear how powerful genetic analysis is and how important it can be for individual patients," says senior author John A. Spertus, M.D., director of cardiovascular education and outcome research at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, professor of cardiology at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and adjunct professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. "It gives a hint of what medical practice will be like down the road when we can put such knowledge to practical use every day."The study consisted of 735 ACS patients from two Kansas City, Missouri hospitals. Patients' average age was 60, and 81 percent of the patients were on beta-blocker therapy. Next, the researchers will conduct a larger study of 4,500 heart patients from 20 centers throughout the country.

Called TRIUMPH (Translational Research Investigating Underlying Disparities in Myocardial Infarction Patients' Health Status) and funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, the study will evaluate patients' symptoms, heart function, quality of life and survival after a heart attack. Similar to the current study, these data will be analyzed on the basis of genetic variations in the beta-adrenergic receptor genes and other potentially important genes.

"The new study's ability to assess the effect of genotype on patients' health will benefit from the larger sample size and greater diversity of patients," Spertus says. "It's really an exciting and unique collaborative venture that builds a strong relationship between researchers in Kansas City and St. Louis."

The TRIUMPH registry recruits patients through the Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC) headed
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Source:Washington University School of Medicine


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