29 March 2010

Study links genetic variation to possible protection against sudden cardiac arrest

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A variation at the location of the GPC5 gene appears to reduce risk of the heart disorder that claims more than 250,000 American lives each year

Physician-scientists at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have found that a genetic variation is associated with lower risk of sudden cardiac arrest, a disorder that gives little warning and is fatal in about 95 percent of cases. Findings will be published tomorrow by the Public Library of Science (PloS One).

The discovery came from a genome-wide association study, which examines the entire set of human genes to detect possible links between genetic variations and specific conditions or diseases. In this study, the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute researchers compared the genetic makeup of 424 subjects who had experienced sudden cardiac arrest to the DNA of 226 control subjects who had no history of the disorder. All patients had a history of coronary artery disease, which commonly underlies sudden cardiac arrest.

Based on a comparison of the two groups, a genetic variation at the location of the GPC5 gene – a genetic sequence called rs3864180 – was found to be associated with a reduced risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

(EurekAlert!)

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