Genes, lifestyle, and risk for heart attack

Air date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 3:00:00 PM

Category: WALS – Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

Runtime: 01:02:34

Description: NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

Coronary artery disease is the leading global cause of mortality. Long recognized to be heritable, recent advances have started to unravel the genetic architecture of the disease. Common variant association studies have linked approximately 95 genetic loci to coronary risk. Large-scale gene-sequencing efforts and functional studies have facilitated a better understanding of causal risk factors, elucidated underlying biology, and informed the development of new therapeutics. Moving forward, genetic testing could enable precision-medicine approaches by identifying subgroups of patients who are at increased risk of coronary artery disease or have a specific driving pathophysiology that would make a therapeutic or preventive approach most useful.

Dr. Kathiresan leverages human genetics to understand the root causes of heart attack and to improve preventive cardiac care. Among his scientific contributions, Dr. Kathiresan has helped highlight new biological mechanisms underlying heart attack, discovered mutations that protect against heart attack risk, and developed a genetic test for personalized heart attack prevention.

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Author: Sekar Kathiresan, M.D., Director, Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; Director, Cardiovascular Disease Initiative, Broad Institute; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

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