Breakthrough Test Could Predict Heart Attacks And Strokes
Scientists have discovered five new genes that cause heart attacks and strokes and hope these findings will enable them to pinpoint when the attacks will strike.
The researchers, from Queen Mary University of London, identified five generic variants that trigger heart attacks and strokes after investigating blood pressure measurements of 25,000 participants. The aim of the study was to look into the role that genes play in hypertension and high blood pressure.
"The new genes are an important discovery in tackling heart disease and stroke, but now we need to further our understanding of the way these genes function," says research professor Patricia Munroe.
Around 10 million Brits suffer from high blood pressure while 191,000 people die from heart and circulatory disease in the UK and a further 43,000 from strokes. According to the British Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease claims 88,000 deaths a year and is the cause of 50,000 premature deaths in the UK alone.
The experts are hoping that the new gene discovery will not only help them predict the likeliness of a heart attack or stroke, but also pave the way for new drugs to be developed to help those unable to control their blood pressure.
The study results were published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.