Thursday, November 25, 2010


One of the interesting papers presented at the recently concluded 2010 Annual Scientific Session of the American Heart Association at Chicago, was a paper by the researchers in Mayo Clinic. They studied 1262 well individuals with no history of heart disease. They used the standard Framingham Risk Score, to predict the individuals risk of heart attacks in the next 10 years. As you may know, we also use the Framingham's Risk score, which includes risk factors like cigarette smoking, lipid levels, the presence of diabetes and hypertension, obesity, etc. Having risk stratify them, they then took blood specimens from these individuals and looked for 11 gene variants known to be related to called " single nucleotide polymorphism " or SNP, including the 9P21 gene variant, well-known to be related to increase risk of heart attacks. About one third of those risk stratified using the FRS ( Framingham Risk Score ), had to be reclassified, some from low risk to intermediate risk, or even to intermediate high risk.
Of course this is an important step forward, to try to identify those at high risk of a heart attack, especially in those in the intermediate risk group, who may otherwise, have nothing done to prevent the heart attack. The day may not be far off when we can take a sample of blood and accurately predict your risk of heart attack. That will certainly save many lives, and also many healthcare dollars on unnecessary angiograms and angioplasties.

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