How genetic 'chips' could help to understand heart disease

Jun 24, 2010

New research at the University of Leicester will use the latest genetic techniques to examine DNA from over 20,000 patients with heart disease.

The study will help to identify new genes and molecules responsible for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). This, in turn may help to develop new diagnostic and treatment strategies.

The project is being undertaken by postgraduate researcher Paraskevi Christofidou, of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences. Preliminary findings from her research will be presented at the University of Leicester on 24 June.

Miss Christofidou said: " - a disease causing narrowing of arteries in the heart - remains a major cause of death worldwide. Shockingly, in the USA on average one person dies of this disease every 34 seconds. In the UK it causes over 100 000 deaths a year, approximately one in five deaths in men and one in six deaths in women.

"Various risk factors such as , smoking, obesity and increased levels of cholesterol play a significant role in the progression of CAD. There is also evidence that familial predisposition is a strong risk factor. Indeed, your risk of CAD increases by almost 50% if one of your relatives has a history of . "

Miss Christofidou said a part of this genetic susceptibility to CAD is transmitted from one generation to another as a collection of small changes in DNA sequence called single (SNPs).

She added: "The recent genetic revolution offers tracking of SNPs in human DNA on an unprecedented scale. With the use of new called "chips" it is possible to track and characterise precisely up to 1 million SNPs in a subject.

"We anticipate that some of these variants occur more frequently in patients with CAD compared to healthy subjects and are responsible for to CAD. It is likely that some of these variants are rare so large cohorts of subjects are needed to identify sufficient numbers for analysis."

This project will conduct analysis of human DNA from more than 20 000 patients with CAD and 60 000 healthy controls.

Explore further: Schizophrenia's genetic 'skyline' rising: Suspect common variants soar from 30 to 108

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Genetic variation may lead to early cardiovascular disease

Jan 03, 2009

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center have identified a variation in a particular gene that increases susceptibility to early coronary artery disease. For years, scientists have known that the devastating, early-onset ...

Toward a urine test for diagnosing heart disease

Feb 02, 2009

Researchers in Australia are reporting an advance toward the first urine test for diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD), the condition responsible for most of the 1.5 million heart attacks that occur in the United States ...

Recommended for you

Mysterious esophagus disease is autoimmune after all

3 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Achalasia is a rare disease – it affects 1 in 100,000 people – characterized by a loss of nerve cells in the esophageal wall. While its cause remains unknown, a new study by a team of researchers at ...

Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Jul 21, 2014

Because the severe autism-like condition Christianson Syndrome was only first reported in 1999 and some symptoms take more than a decade to appear, families and doctors urgently need fundamental information ...

New technique maps life's effects on our DNA

Jul 20, 2014

Researchers at the BBSRC-funded Babraham Institute, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Single Cell Genomics Centre, have developed a powerful new single-cell technique to help investigate how the environment ...

User comments : 0