Mutant gene puts South Asians at risk of heart disease

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Scientists have identified a mutant gene which appears to increase the risk of heart failure in South Asians, putting one percent of the world’s population at risk.

In an article published in Nature Genetics, the scientists from India, Britain and the United States said 4 percent of people of South Asian descent carry the mutation and they would have a lifelong predisposition to heart failure.

This means 60 million people are at risk of heart disease due to this mutation, or one percent of the world population.

“Now that the defect has been identified, there is a new glimmer of hope. It could be detected very early during pregnancy,” they said in a statement.

“Carriers of the defect could be identified at a young age by genetic screening and advised to adopt a healthier lifestyle.”

“Eventually, new drugs could be developed to … postpone the onset of symptoms,” they wrote.

Using DNA tests, they compared 800 heart patients in India with 699 others without the condition and found that the gene variant - which is linked to cardiomyopathy, or weakness in the heart muscle - was far more frequent among the cardiac patients.

As cardiomyopathy worsens, the heart becomes weaker and less able to pump blood through the body. This can lead to heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, fluid buildup in the lungs or legs and infection of the heart lining.

To ascertain how widespread the mutation was, the researchers screened 6,273 randomly-selected individuals across 35 states in India and found that 4 percent had this defect.

The researchers then extended their study to determine the spread of this genetic abnormality among the South Asian diaspora.

They ran DNA tests on 2,085 people from 26 countries and found that the mutation appeared to be restricted only to people of South Asian descent living in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Currently, cardiomyopathy is treated with medication, pacemakers and defibrillators but they merely relieve symptoms. Some patients eventually require heart transplants.

(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Valerie Lee)

Source

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Posts:


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Infants born with a congenital heart defect that goes uncorrected have a much greater risk of dying than their counterparts who have the heart defect corrected, suggest results of a new study. The birth heart defect known as patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA, afflicts mainly infants who are born very prematurely.

Full Post: Uncorrected heart defect ups risk of infant death
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A rare genetic abnormality found in people in an insular Amish community protects them from heart disease, a discovery that could lead to new drugs to prevent heart ailments, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. About 5 percent of Old Order Amish people in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County have only one working copy

Full Post: Amish gene trait may inspire heart protection
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Even a little bit of extra weight can raise the risk of heart failure, according to a U.S. study published on Monday that calculated the heart hazards of being pudgy but not obese. It comes as little surprise that obesity makes a person much more apt to get heart failure, a

Full Post: Even a tiny bit of flab raises heart failure risk
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Michael Kahn LONDON (Reuters) - An international research team has identified a tiny piece of genetic material that plays a key role in heart failure, and shown how an experimental compound prevents the condition in mice, scientists reported on Sunday. The researchers used a treatment from Regulus Therapeutics — a joint venture between U.S. biotech companies

Full Post: Gene “silencing” drug blocks heart disease in mice
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A study tracking a large group of women for a decade casts doubt on the value of testing for a certain genetic trait linked to heart disease to predict one’s chances of illness, U.S. researchers said on Monday. Knowing a woman had the abnormality on chromosome 9 did not improve cardiovascular

Full Post: Study doubts heart disease genetic testing value

Site Navigation

Most Read

Search