New Research: Heart attack deaths tied to defective gene

University of Otago Christchurch scientists have identified a genetic defect in male patients that nearly doubles the risk of death after heart attack.

Men with a variant of the ACE2 gene — already associated with high blood pressure — have a significantly lower survival rates from heart disease, the three-year study has found.  In future, identifying the gene in at-risk patients may help guide treatment before a heart attack occurs.

Lead researcher Dr Barry Palmer says, “This is the first time ever that this variant of the ACE2 gene has been identified in terms of survivability.  It will be useful in terms of other research we’re doing on tailoring heart disease treatment more accurately to the patient.”

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