deCODE Launches deCODE MI™ - A Test for a Major Genetic Risk Factor for Early-onset Heart Attack
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deCODE genetics has announced the launch of deCODE MI™, a reference laboratory test for variations in the genome (called SNPs) that the company has associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction, or heart attack.
The SNPs are located on chromosome 9 and were discovered by deCODE earlier this year. As described in the journal Science in July, deCODE scientists found that people who carry two copies of these variants are at double the risk of suffering an early heart attack – before the age of 50 in men and 60 in women – than are those who do not carry them.
deCODE validated the role of these variants in five groups of patients and controls from Iceland and the United States, and other researchers have replicated this finding in several European, US, and Canadian cohorts.
“With the launch of deCODE MI, we have taken another of our breakthroughs in genetics and transformed it into a new tool in the fight to prevent heart attack. While many risk factors for heart attack are understood, the disease remains the leading cause of death in the industrialized world and the early-onset cases often take both patients and doctors so dangerously by surprise.
deCODE MI™ tests for a genetic risk factor that is independent of other risks such as cholesterol, obesity and smoking, and therefore provides a means of identifying individuals who may derive particular benefit from earlier and more aggressive prevention efforts,” said Dr. Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE.