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Scientists Identify Gene Linked Heart Attack Risk

Previous studies have shown that levels of triglycerides are linked to risk of heart attack and now researchers have identified a specific gene involved in the regulation and metabolism of triglycerides, The New York Times reports. The new study in NEJM, which built on a 2008 study conducted in a small group of Amish farmers, mapped the genes of 3,734 Americans and found that one gene, APOC3, stood out. They found 4 mutations in this gene and also that those who had a mutation in this gene, which destroyed its function, had very low levels of triglycerides. The study also followed up this finding and showed that “those who carry the gene mutations have a 40 percent reduction in triglyceride levels and a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease.” Experts say the results are promising for the development of new drugs that may help protect against heart disease.

Read it in The New York Times.

Read the study in NEJM.