Scientists from Celera Diagnostics have published findings linking genetic variations in four genes with an increased risk for myocardial infarction, or heart attack.
None of these gene variants have previously been associated with MI, and they could lead to the identification of coronary heart disease (CHD) mechanisms.
This paper will appear in the October 2005 edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics, and is currently available on the publication's website.
Celera Diagnostics, a joint venture between the Applied Biosystems Group and Celera Genomics Group of Applera Corporation, conducted the study in collaboration with researchers at Quest Diagnostics, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the University of California, San Francisco.
Celera Diagnostics has completed association studies in several cardiovascular diseases and the pharmacogenomics of treatment for cardiovascular diseases, and has additional studies with data from 30,000 subjects.
"This study, coupled with other prospective studies underway at Celera Diagnostics, is providing valuable insight toward the ongoing development of a 'Genetic Risk Score' that is expected to identify individuals at elevated risk for MI," said Kathy Ordonez, President of Celera Diagnostics.
He adds, "More than 17 million people in the United States fall into the category of moderate risk for having a heart attack using existing methods of evaluation, such as measuring serum cholesterol, blood pressure, and assessing the genetic component through taking a family history.”“A 'Genetic Risk Score' will not only enable physicians to make a quantitative estimate of each individual's relative genetic risk for MI, but importantly it will also identify those individuals who would otherwise not have been considered at risk for MI, and who could benefit from preventive treatment." Further he said, "We are in the process of translating these findings into clinical practice and moving toward the commercialization of these exciting discoveries."
"We continue to work closely with our clinical laboratory collaborators on prospective studies of the general population to identify the most informative constellation of diagnostic markers associated with MI and increased statin benefit, and anticipate communicating these as they are published over the coming months."
"Multiple large scale studies for discovery, with well-characterized DNA samples from carefully selected patients and matched controls, hold significant promise to discover new gene variants that predict risk for MI and will enable the development of new diagnostics," said Ray Fenwick, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Molecular Endocrinology at Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, and a co-author of the paper.
"In addition, the replication of our results in two additional case-control studies confirms the significance of these results in identifying individuals at increased risk for heart attack even when standard risk factors such as smoking and obesity are taken into account."