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Gene Variants Can Predict Threat of Heart Disease
Date:3/19/2008

ts. However, among those classified at intermediate risk by standard measures, the results of testing for the panel of nine SNPs significantly improved the ability to identify people with truly elevated or reduced cardiac event risk levels, the researchers said.

The study appears in the March 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"A current clinical dilemma is how early to start patients on cholesterol-lowering medications like statins that can reduce the risk of heart attack," Kathiresan said. "Our data suggest those individuals classified as higher risk based on a genetic test may deserve more intense pharmacological and lifestyle treatments."

However, before this approach can actually be used to help patients, he added, "we need to discover all the risk-related variants -- and there will probably be 50 to 100 -- and then conduct clinical studies confirming that this information can reliably guide patient care."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about heart disease risk factors.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCES: Massachusetts General Hospital, news release, March 19, 2008


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