Researchers at the University of Virginia have shed light on how our genes affect our risk for coronary artery disease, the most common form of heart disease. In addition to identifying gene variants that influence risk, they found that one gene in particular appears to have a protective effect.
Doctors may be able to use the findings to identify people at high risk and to develop better treatments and preventative interventions.
“Current drugs for coronary artery disease treat the risk factors, such as cholesterol or hypertension,” said researcher Mete Civelek of UVA’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and UVA’s Center for Public Health Genomics. “Our studies used a genetic approach to identify the mechanisms in the wall of the blood vessels where the disease actually develops.”
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