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Genetic Data May Not Boost Heart Disease Predictions
Date:1/19/2009

women of different backgrounds or to men," Paynter noted.

Dr. Harlan M. Krumholz, a professor of cardiology at Yale University School of Medicine, put it this way: "It's an important study that should give us pause that information about whether our DNA will trump what we know from established risk factors. The genetic work is important in efforts to find targets for future therapies, but addressing modifiable risk factors is where we need to direct our attention."

However, Dr. Byron Lee, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco, noted that "while in this study, DNA testing did not improve our ability to predict cardiovascular disease, which is based on traditional risk factors like smoking and hypertension, there are literally millions of other specific genetic tests to look at."

"I expect DNA testing to become a standard part of risk assessment in the near future," Lee said.

More information

For more information on heart disease, visit the American Heart Association .



SOURCES: Nina P. Paynter, Ph.D., instructor in medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Byron Lee, M.D., assistant professor, cardiology, University of California, San Francisco; Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., professor of cardiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Jan. 20, 2009, Annals of Internal Medicine


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