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Female heart risk gene pin-pointed

Tuesday January 8th, 2019

A British-led study has identified the first gene linked to a major cause of acute coronary syndrome in young women, it was announced last night.

The genetic factor, found on chromosome 6, increases the risk of a woman suffering coronary artery dissection, which is believed to be responsible for up to a third of acute coronary events in women under the age of 60.

The factor has previously been linked to increased risk of fibromuscular dysplasia.

Reporting in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the researchers identify the factor as the A allele of the genetic variant rs9349379 located in the PHACTR1 gene.

The study also found that the gene was linked to a small protective effect against other kinds of acute coronary syndrome.

Researchers at Leicester University, UK, worked with scientists at INSERM in Paris, France, on the project, which also involved teams in the USA and Australia.

Dr Nabila Bouatia-Naji, from the Paris team, said: “Another important feature of the A allele is that it is very common in the general population and it confers a moderate risk increase of around 70%, indicating that many other genetic factors must also contribute to genetic susceptibility to SCAD.

“As with any disease that has many genetic and environmental factors that contribute to its development, SCAD needs to be investigated with a more holistic approach to better understand it and be able to improve the management of patients affected.

“Cardiovascular disease is now the leading cause of death among women after breast cancer, so better understanding these atypical heart attacks by the medical and scientific profession would contribute to a better grasp of women's cardiovascular health in general.”

Association of the PHACTR1/EDN1 Genetic Locus With Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 7 January 2019

http://www.onlinejacc.org/lookup/doi/10.1016/j.jacc.2018.09.085

Tags: Australia | Genetics | Heart Health | North America | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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