Genetic Mutation Could Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
research by University
of Maryland School of Medicine scientists
has demonstrated that mutations in a single gene protect against heart
attacks by keeping triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood) at
low levels during a person's lifetime.
The research, led by Toni Pollin, PhD, associate
professor at the School of Medicine, and reported in 2008 with a group
of Amish subjects, showed that the Amish with a mutation in the APOC3 gene had less
calcification of their arteries -- an indicator that they had less heart
Two studies from Massachusetts General Hospital and Copenhagen
University Hospital just published in The
New England Journal of Medicine
replicate Pollin's finding that mutations in this gene are responsible for
naturally low levels of triglycerides, and further show that mutations reduce the risk of heart attacks by about 40 percent.
"What's exciting about this is it takes that to another place," says
Pollin. "Just as you'd expect from something that reduces triglyceride levels and prevents coronary
artery buildup, there is now strong evidence that having one of these mutations
reduces the risk of having a heart attack."
Like Pollin's work, the new research shows that the mutated gene helps the body swiftly
remove triglycerides from the bloodstream. The research also bolsters
evidence that triglycerides play a role in heart attacks.
Read more about Pollin's research in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, or watch this
video from ABC's
Good Morning America.
|Posting Date: 06/19/2014
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