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Dilated cardiomyopathy investigated

Thursday March 29th, 2018

A new study has been launched to investigate the interaction between genes and lifestyle factors in the development of dilated cardiomyopathy.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is more common in people with a specific mutation in the titin protein which raises the risk of the disease when the heart it is under stress, such as pregnancy, some cancer treatments, and possibly other stresses like alcohol abuse. However, most causes of the condition remain unknown, investigators say.

The new British Heart Foundation-funded study is the largest ever study of dilated cardiomyopathy. It will include more than 2,000 patients recruited at six hospital trusts in England. Participants will give samples which will undergo advanced DNA sequencing. This information will be combined with biological markers from their blood, and heart scans.

Lead researcher, Professor Stuart Cook at Imperial College London, UK, says: "We urgently need to find out more about what causes dilated cardiomyopathy, and identify who is at risk of sudden death or developing heart failure.

"For about one in four patients with dilated cardiomyopathy we can find a genetic cause, but that leaves us with hundreds of thousands of people with dilated cardiomyopathy that we cannot explain, which hinders our ability to diagnose and treat the patients or help their families.

"There are currently no targeted treatments that are specific for dilated cardiomyopathy, but as we get a better understanding of the genes which cause the condition, we can hope to develop new treatments which target these genes and pathways."

Tags: Genetics | Heart Health | UK News

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