Coronary Artery Disease Shows Distinct Genetic Components

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Genetics appear to play a part in various manifestations of coronary artery disease (CAD), particularly those involving the most hazardous lesions, according to US and German researchers.

In the February 22nd issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, Dr. Ulrich Broeckel of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and colleagues note that they evaluated coronary angiograms of 882 siblings from 401 families throughout Germany.

In these families, the index patient had experienced an MI before age of 60 years and at least one sibling presented with MI or severe CAD before 70 years of age.

In sex- and age-adjusted analyses, the most hazardous localizations of atherosclerosis were osteal lesions and left main coronary artery disease, these were estimated to be highly heritable.

Coronary calcification was also highly heritable. This was true of the left and right coronary artery and of the presence of ectatic coronary segments.

However, more distal disease, the number of diseased vessels and length of lesions did not appear to have heritable components.

Age of onset and all cardiovascular risk factors were also highly heritable, the authors note, suggesting that "the impact of genetic factors in the development of CAD may be complex and is modulated by age and coronary risk factors."

The findings, the researchers conclude, "may have important clinical implications for screening strategies in asymptomatic relatives."

Source: Circulation 2005;111:855-862. [ Google search on this article ]

MeSH Headings: Biological Sciences : Biology : Genetics : Biological Sciences

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