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article imageMutation might reduce heart disease

By Tim Sandle     Jun 21, 2014 in Science
New York - Genetic variants (mutations) that cripple a particular type of protein have been linked with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
A new report suggests that a protein called apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3) increases triglyceride levels (a kind of fat) in the blood, which in turn is tied to a higher chance of cardiovascular disease. A new study indicates that people with a genetic mutation in the gene for APOC3 have not only lower triglyceride concentrations, but a reduced risk of heart disease as well.
Discussing this, Ethan Weiss, an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, has told Forbes: "In medical school we were told to ignore triglycerides and focus on [high-density lipoprotein]. It turns out that we probably had it backwards, and that we should be paying attention to triglycerides and ignoring HDL."
At this stage the mechanism behind the reductions in heart disease is not entirely clear. Robert Hegele, a heart disease expert at Western University in London, Ontario has posed a question to The New York Times: “Do [triglycerides] just keep bad company or are they independently doing something to risk?”
The findings are expected to lead to a push to develop drugs that mimic the effect of the mutations, potentially offering the first new class of drugs to combat heart disease in decades, possibly becoming the 'new statins'.
The research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, in a report titled "Loss-of-Function Mutations in APOC3, Triglycerides, and Coronary Disease".
More about Mutation, Genes, Heart, Heart disease, Statins
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