Scientists Find Genetic Pathway to Fight Heart Attacks

Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 08:08 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Four rare mutations in a single gene reduce the risk of heart disease by 40 percent, a new study suggests.

The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs to fight heart disease, according to the researchers at the Broad Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and colleagues.

They conducted genetic analyses of nearly 4,000 people and identified four mutations in the APOC3 gene that significantly lower levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, as well as the risk of coronary heart disease.

Editor's note: No. 1 Best-Seller: A Revolutionary Heart-Disease Cure

The APOC3 gene produces a protein that's believed to prevent the removal of triglycerides from the blood. The four mutations all decrease APOC3 activity.

The findings suggest that high triglyceride levels -- rather than low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol -- play a major role in heart disease, according to the authors of the study in the June 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The combination of our genetic results, together with recent clinical trials of drugs that raised HDL levels but failed to prevent heart disease, are turning decades of conventional wisdom on its head," senior author Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, a Broad Institute associate member and director of preventive cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in an institute news release.

"HDL and triglycerides are both correlated with heart attack, and have an inverse relationship with one another -- the lower the HDL, the higher the triglycerides. It has long been presumed that low HDL is the causal factor in heart disease, and triglycerides are along for the ride. But our genetic data indicate that the true causal factor may not be HDL after all, but triglycerides."

Based on these findings, another member of the research team said preventive measures might need revision.

"We predict that lowering triglycerides specifically through inhibition of APOC3 would have a beneficial effect by lowering disease risk," study senior co-author Dr. Alex Reiner, a research professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington's School of Public Health, said in the news release.

Drugs to lower triglyceride levels exist, but have not been shown to prevent heart disease. This may be because their effect on triglyceride levels is relatively modest compared to the much greater impact of the APOC3 mutations, the researchers said.
 
Special: Warning Signs of a 'Silent' Heart Attack


© HealthDay

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

9 in 10 Adults Eat Everything on Their Plate

Friday, 25 Jul 2014 16:34 PM

Unlike children, the vast majority of adults finish all of the food they put on their plate at mealtime, according to a  . . .

Sleeping in Total Darkness Boosts Breast Cancer Therapy: Study

Friday, 25 Jul 2014 16:26 PM

Tulane University researchers have found dim light at night can compromise the effectiveness of the breast cancer drug t . . .

Best Time of Day for Testosterone Test

Friday, 25 Jul 2014 16:21 PM

Timing is important when it comes to testing testosterone levels, according to new research that finds levels of the hor . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved