Gene studies 'could help explain cardiac disease in diabetics'

29 September 2011

Researchers have identified the first genetic variant associated with the severity of coronary artery disease in patients who suffer from type two diabetes.

A study conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis found that although the findings are not the likely cause of more serious heart disease, it implicates a gene that could be. The researchers said that such a gene has promise as a future target for cardiac treatment in diabetic patients.

Cardiologist Richard G Bach, associate professor of medicine, said that there is a knowledge gap in the understanding of diabetes and how it promotes both coronary artery disease and worse outcomes for patients who have diabetes.

"Any insights into what might be causing this may benefit patients in the future," he added.

This genetic variant is a change in only one or two letters of a person's DNA sequence and is located in a gene called TLL1 that is known to be involved with inflammation and calcification of blood vessels.

The study also found on average, patients with CT DNA patterns had 22 per cent more coronary lesions blocking arteries that supply blood to the heart than those with the TT sequen

Posted by Edward Bartel

Cresci, Sharon, "Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Pathway Gene Polymorphism Associated With Extent of Coronary Artery Disease in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes in the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation 2 Diabetes Trial",Circulation, September 27th 2011.

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