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A large team of researchers working with a variety of institutions across Japan has identified several loci associated with departure-specific risk factors for coronary artery disease. In their article published in the journal Nature Genetics, the group describes their analysis of genetic information from several publicly available databases and their results.

Coronary artery disease is a disease that develops in patients who experience thinning or blockage of the coronary arteries, usually due to atherosclerosis. People with this disease can experience difficulty breathing, chest pain, and sometimes a heart attack. In recent years, medical professionals have discovered that there is a genetic component in coronary artery disease that makes some people more prone to developing the disease. Studies have attempted to identify genetic markers for susceptibility to coronary artery disease. However, as the authors of this study note, most of them conducted research on people living in the West. In this new effort, the researchers looked for markers that are present in Asians, especially those with a Japanese background.

The work began with the acquisition and analysis of genetic data from the efforts of BioBank Japan. The data in BioBank included results of whole genome sequencing for nearly 1,800 people with coronary artery disease and 2,636 without. The team next pulled data from a variety of other databases containing information on whole genome sequencing results. In total, the team analyzed data for 25,892 people with coronary artery disease and 142,336 without. They found eight previously unidentified loci that could be associated with coronary artery disease – and several variants that could be associated with the severity of the disease. Encouraged by their results, the researchers obtained more data from other databases and added them to their study. As a result, the researchers identified 175 loci with links to coronary artery disease.

The researchers then created a card of risk factors for patients with the markers they identified, which they used to score. They suggest that the scores they derive could be used in the future for the early diagnosis and treatment of people at increased risk of developing coronary artery disease.

The researchers use the comparison of several ancestors to refine risk factors for coronary artery disease

More information:
Satoshi Koyama et al. Population-specific and trans-descendant genome-wide analyzes identify different and common genetic risk locations for coronary artery disease, Nature Genetics (2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41588-020-0705-3

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