Gene Variant Linked to Coronary Risk

January 28, 2008 12:07 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff

Studies performed by the Celera Group find that 60 percent of people carry a gene variant that increases the likelihood of a heart attack. Carriers of the gene may benefit more than others from the use of statins.

30-Second Summary

According to the Celera press release, the risk of heart disease is 55 percent higher in carriers of the KIF6 gene variant. An individual’s KIF6 status also determines how well they react to therapy with a cholesterol-lowering called statin. 

Dr. Marc Sabatine, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said that the risk variant’s presence alone should not determine what therapy patients get, but that genetic data could help tailor treatment to the patient’s needs, The Wall Street Journal reported. The results "take us one step closer to personalized medicine," he said.

A division of Celera, Berkley Heart Lab is developing a genetic test that will test for the KIF6 gene variant.

The Celera findings will be published on Jan. 29 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Statin treatments are used to lower the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, widely known as LDL. The Mayo Clinic explains that LDL is the “bad” cholesterol, because it can accumulate on artery walls and potentially cause a heart attack or stroke.

High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the “good” cholesterol, because it helps prevent arterial blockage.

Headline Link: ‘Gene Variant Is Said to Be Linked to Heart Attack and Prevention’

Background: The Celera study

Related Topics: PROVE-IT Statin study

Reference Material: Good and bad cholesterol; cholesterol-lowering drugs


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines