Multinational deCODE Study Identifies New Link between Inflammation and Heart Attack
News Feb 10, 2009
In a paper published, scientists at deCODE genetics and academic colleagues from four continents present a novel insight into the connection between inflammation and heart disease.
Through a genome-wide search in some 10,000 Icelanders, the deCODE team discovered several common single-letter variations in the sequence of the human genome (SNPs) that increase levels of eosinophils in the bloodstream. These are a type of white blood cell that fights parasite infection and mediates inflammation.
One of these SNPs, located on chromsome 12q24, was then shown to confer increased risk of heart attack through analysis of the genomes of more than 46,000 patients and controls from Iceland, New Zealand, Italy, and the United States. Given the established role of eosinophils in asthma, the deCODE team also analyzed the eosinophil SNPs in more than 50,000 asthmatics and healthy control subjects from the countries above as well as from Germany, Sweden, Australia, and South Korea. A SNP on chromosome 2q12 was associated with increased risk of asthma, and three other SNPs were associated with risk of atopic asthma.
Previous work by the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) has identified 233 genetic risk variants. However, these only account for about 20% of overall disease risk, with the remaining genetic culprits proving elusive. A new study has tracked down four of these hard-to-find genes.READ MORE