admin - April 3, 2014
Researchers from the University of Michigan and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology conducted a study that used gene scanning processes to detect genes variations that are connected to certain diseases. The approach involved observing how variations influenced the way proteins act, and because of this method they were able to discover a gene that directly relates to heart attack risk.
The study used information from 5,600 Norwegians who had health information stored in a biobank. The focus of the researchers was on variations in genes that cause a change in protein function. The end result was cataloging 80,000 variants. From these variants, they narrowed the results down to 10 which had previously been related to blood lipid levels and cholesterol.
Honing in on a specific DNA strand that is controls blood lipid levels, they discovered gene TM6FS2. A percentage of study participants who carried a variation of the gene had healthier blood lipids and a lower overall risk for heart attack. If the gene is overexpressed or completely silent, heart attack risk increases.
Other Heart Attack Risks
Another recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard showed that a heart attack risk is higher after an anger outburst for 2 hours after the episode. After an outburst the risk of a heart attack increases 5 times, risk of stroke raises by three times in addition to abnormal heartbeat or ventricular arrhythmia. (The risk per person also depends on how often anger outbursts occur, and their own personal risk factors.)
Other risk factors for heart attack and heart disease include family history, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, diabetes and elevated C-reactive protein levels.
Reducing Your Risk
The first step to reducing your risk for heart attack and heart disease is to know where you currently stand. We offer five different heart disease screenings to assess specific risk factors. Look up screening events near you, or schedule an appointment online today.
Adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle are also recommended to reduce risk factors. Incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, with some muscle strengthening exercises. Cut out saturated fats and foods that are high in sodium, as they negatively impact health.