Genetic Testing Could Help Determine Treatment After Heart Attack

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By Cile Waller

(Ivanhoe Newswire, Orlando, FL) -- Genetic testing could determine a person's probability of developing ischemic heart disease and predict the course the disease will take once it sets in, new research suggests.

In a study that followed more than 1,500 heart attack patients for 20 years, researchers found a genetic variant in chromosome 9 affected the progression of coronary atherosclerosis in young patients who had suffered a heart attack and also influenced a person's chances of having another cardiovascular event.

"None of us could believe that one single genetic variant could have such a big biological influence," lead study author Diego Ardissino, M.D., of the University of Parma in Parma, Italy, said. "Surprisingly, we showed that there was a strong influence of this genetic variation on the progression of coronary atherosclerosis, which translated into the probability of these patients undergoing new percutaneous coronary intervention or bypass surgery."

Identification of the genetic variant, called rs1333040, could aid doctors in decisions about treatment following a heart attack.

"My sincere hope is that this could be the first genetic study that brings genetics into the clinical arena of ischemic heart disease," Dr. Ardissino said.

In the first part of the study, five genetic variants were found to be associated with early-onset myocardial infarction, but only rs1333040 had a significant association.

SOURCE: Presented at the American College of Cardiology's 58th Annual Scientific Session, March 28-31, Orlando, Fla.

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