Scientists uncover heart attack gene

9 March 2011

Scientists believe they have made a groundbreaking genetic discovery which could change the face of cardiovascular treatment around the globe.

The researchers - including heart health specialists from the UK - claim they have isolated 13 genes that are associated with the risk of a person developing coronary heart disease.

The discovery doubles the number of genes that are known to influence people's heart health as they age.

Co-author of the new genetic research Professor Nilesh Samani, of the British Heart Foundation and the University of Leicester, said: "The most exciting thing about our study is that we have discovered several new genes not previously known to be involved in the development of coronary heart disease.

"Understanding how these genes work, which is the next step, will vastly improve our knowledge of how the disease develops."

The researchers, of which there were 167, isolated the genes after studying the genetic makeup of more than 140,000 participants around the globe.

Recently, researchers from Warwick University found that lack of sleep can cause heart health problems.

1 Samani, Nilesh et al. "Large-scale association analysis identifies 13 new susceptibility loci for coronary artery disease". Nature Genetics. Sunday, March 6th 2011.

2 Cappuccio, Francesco et al. "Sleep duration predicts cardiovascular outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies". European Heart Journal. Monday, February 7th 2011.

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