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Gene mutation could protect against heart attack

Two major studies by leading research groups published independently identified mutations in a single gene that protect against heart attacks by keeping levels of triglycerides – a kind of fat in the blood – very low for a lifetime. [s]The New York Times[/s] reports that experts say the findings are expected to lead to a push to develop drugs that mimic the effect of the mutations, potentially offering the first new class of drugs to combat heart disease in decades. Statins, which reduce LDL cholesterol, another cause of heart disease, became blockbusters in the late 1980s. Since then, there have been no major new drugs approved for lowering heart disease risk. But experts caution that drug development takes years and that there are no guarantees that new treatments will work as hoped. Triglycerides have long puzzled researchers, although they are routinely measured along with cholesterol in blood tests and are often high in people with heart disease, but many experts were unconvinced they caused heart attacks.

[link url=http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/health/scientists-identify-mutations-that-protect-against-heart-attacks.html?emc=edit_th_20140619&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=42505380&_r=0]Full report in The New York Times[/link]
[link url=http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1307095]First New England Journal of Medicine abstract[/link]
[link url=http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1308027]Second NEJM abstract[/link]

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