Doctors are coming closer to an innovation that could make a huge difference in heart disease diagnosis — a genetic test for heart disease that would allow those at risk to jump-start intervention strategies.
Currently, lifestyle is used as a predictor, with factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, habits like smoking, and medical history taken into account.
But because so much of heart disease is considered inherited, a genetic test is the key to all sorts of predictions.
If we could do this, we could potentially determine who should be targeted for interventions much earlier in life.
At the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Systems Genomics in Australia, scientists have developed exactly that type of risk score as a predictor.
Their score is based on more than 49,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms — SNPs — single letters in the human genome sequence that can vary for individuals.
Their results signal a breakthrough for genetic heart disease prediction.
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