Genes can predict the risk of coronary heart disease: a study

Ani |
January 01, 2023 13:34 ist

New York [US]January 1 (ANI): Study identifies genes most important in coronary heart disease and heart attacks.
The study was published in the journal Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine by a team from the Victor Chang Heart Research Institute, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and other sites in Europe and the United States.
The findings pave the way for an entirely new field of medicines designed specifically for patients at high risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the world.
The executive director of the Victor Chang Institute for Heart Research, Professor Jason Kovacic, was the lead author of the paper, and says the study made three major breakthroughs, all of which were of key importance in the fight against heart disease.
“First, we have now more accurately identified the exact genes that are likely to cause coronary heart disease. Second, we have identified exactly where in the body the main effect of these genes is — it may be in the heart arteries themselves causing blockages, or perhaps the effect is in the liver to increase cholesterol levels, or in the blood to alter inflammation,” adds Prof. Kovacic.
The third major achievement was the ranking of those genes – 162 in all – in order of priority for causing coronary heart disease.
“Some of the important genes identified in this list have not been studied in the context of heart attacks before. Finding these new important genes is really exciting but also a real challenge – no one knows exactly how many of them cause coronary heart disease.”
Six hundred patients with coronary heart disease and another 150 patients without coronary heart disease were included in the study. All had open chest surgery for coronary artery bypass surgery or other medical reasons. The team used the Mount Sinai supercomputer – called “Minerva” – to hack the numbers, analyze the data and gather information from thousands of genes.

Professor Kovacic hopes the findings will revitalize research in the area and lead to a whole new area of ​​critical work related to heart attacks.
Professor Kovacic says: “This knowledge will allow us to go after these really critical genes that cause heart attacks, because we now know how much they deserve immediate in-depth study to understand exactly how they cause coronary heart disease and whether they might be promising drug targets for patients.”
“Another important aspect of this study is that one of the previously suspected genes – PHACTR1 – has been validated as being among the two major genes for the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease. We are very actively studying PHACTR1 in my laboratory because we know that it not only causes coronary heart disease but Also a whole host of other vascular diseases including migraine, fibromuscular dysplasia and spontaneous coronary artery dissection.
“However, although it is likely the single most important gene in the pathogenesis of vascular disease, scientists around the world have little idea of ​​how PHACTR1 works – and we are determined to fix that.”
Another benefit for patients is improved genetic testing.
“The current genetic tests that we have to screen for people at risk of coronary heart disease look at hundreds, if not thousands of genes. Right now, they’re not particularly accurate, and that’s mainly why they aren’t used routinely in the clinical setting.” As Professor Kovacic says.
“This refined and prioritized genetic list that we published in this study opens up many new possibilities in terms of more accurate genetic testing, as well as a better understanding of what causes heart attack, and the development of targeted therapies for the many new genetic targets that we found.”
“As a cardiologist, this is incredibly exciting and could ultimately have a huge impact on my patients’ lives.
“We are particularly grateful for the support of this ongoing research from NSW Health and the Bourne Foundation.” says Professor Kovacic. Favorite

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