Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

DNA could predict and prevent heart attack

  • Comment
Scientists have identified nine genetic variants which are linked to early heart attacks, boosting hopes that better ways to predict and prevent heart attacks could be developed.

The researchers screened the DNA of 26,000 people - 13,000 early heart attack patients and an equal number of healthy "controls".

They compared the results, looking for single-letter differences in the genetic code known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

In nine regions of the genome, the complete set of chemical sequences written into DNA, these SNPs were found to be significantly associated with early heart attacks.

Patients with the most risk-associated variants were more than twice as likely to suffer an early heart attack as those with the fewest.

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "These studies demonstrate the power of big international collaborations to unearth new clues on the causes of heart attacks.

"Our scientists are making excellent progress in this field but genetic testing to predict heart attack risk is still a long way off.

"Vital research is now trying to get to grips with how and why these genetic traits increase heart attack risk and whether new treatments can be devised to counteract them."

Early heart attacks run in families and can strike men under 50 and women under 60.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.