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Fifteen new risk loci for coronary artery disease

last modified May 24, 2017 01:00 PM

Dr Joanna Howson, Dr Adam Butterworth, Prof John Danesh, and others have discovered 15 new risk loci for coronary artery disease in work published in Nature Genetics.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although tens of genomic regions have been associated with CAD so far, most of the heritability has remained unexplained.

Dr Howson and colleagues genotyped >50,000 individuals using a custom CardioMetabochip gene array derived from earlier GWAS results, and performed meta-analysis of the results with >190,000 previously genotyped participants. In total, the new study group consisted of 88,000 CAD patients and 162,000 controls.

The group identified new associations located within 15 genomic regions that - together with previous efforts - bring the total number of CAD-associated genomic regions to 73.

In addition to implicating atherosclerosis and traditional risk factors as mechanisms in the pathobiology of CAD, the new discoveries highlight the potential importance of biological processes active in the arterial wall involving endothelial, smooth muscle and white blood cells and promoting coronary atherogenesis.

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