Your genes could reduce your risk for heart disease

It may take more than a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Currently, there are a number of risk factors that health care professionals have related to one's chances of suffering heart disease. While some of these can be controlled, not all can. According to the Mayo Clinic, common issues that may put you at risk of a cardiovascular episode include:

  • smoking
  • poor diet
  • lack of exercise
  • poor hygienic practices
  • high levels of stress1

Some of these triggers can lead to other health concerns that may increase your risk of heart disease, such as:

Additionally, there are risk factors that we have no control over, including:

  • family history and genes
  • gender
  • age

Recent research from the University of Michigan and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has found a specific gene that may worsens one's risk for heart disease.2

New findings
Authors published their findings in Nature Genetics after conducting 80,137 genotyped coding variants in 5,643 Norwegian participants. The collected data indicated that individuals displaying the presence of the gene TM6SF2 were healthier overall, and they were less likely to suffer from a heart attack. This is due to the gene's ability to keep cholesterol levels lower in addition to other blood lipids.

"While genetic studies that focused on common variations may explain as much as 30 percent of the genetic component of lipid disorders, we still don't know where the rest of the genetic risk comes from," Dr. Cristen Willer, senior author of the research and an assistant professor at the U-M Medical School, told Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. "This approach of focusing on protein-changing variation may help us zero in on new genes faster."3

This means that medical researchers will be able to learn more about cardiovascular disease and other health issues as they uncover additional information about this and other genes. As a result, other risk factors for heart attack may be uncovered, leading to a greater chance for prevention.

If you suffer from diabetes or another condition that increases your risk for heart disease, talk to your clinician about what you can do to improve your health. Diabetic supplies, blood pressure equipment and other medical supplies can all be purchased online from Medex Supply.

1 Mayo Clinic, "Heart disease: risk factors" January 16, 2013
2 Nature Genetics, "Systematic evaluation of coding variation identifies a candidate causal variant in TM6SF2 influencing total cholesterol and myocardial infarction risk" March 16, 2014
3 Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, "Novel technique discovers new gene linked to heart attack risk" March 17, 2014

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