Gene Test Might Someday Gauge Your Heart Attack Risk
Can a DNA test predict a person's future heart health?
If you thought the Canadians were only good for their maple syrup, Michael Buble, and Ryan Reynolds, then guess again. They may just save your life. A group of researches found that by analyzing a person's entire genome, it may be possible to predict their future heart disease risk. A "polygenic risk score" analysis is taken to look for genetic biomarkers as well as an individual's entire genetic blueprint.
Rather than just sampling people of European descent, researches sampled various populations and ethnic backgrounds. Lead researcher Guillaume Lettre explained that, "the polygenic risk score is like having a snapshot of the whole genetic variation found in one's DNA and [it] can understand more powerfully predict one's disease risk. Using the score, we can better understand whether someone is at higher or lower risk to develop a heart problem".
Too often, one of the first risks exhibited by those experiencing a heart attack is the heart attack itself.
With these tests, proactive treatment can be taken much earlier in life to avoid the stress, risk factors, and potential risk of a heart-attack. Though these polygenic are helpful in detecting the risks of a heart attack, they are not helpful in detecting risks after patients have already experienced a heart attack. However, physicians are not worried. Since there are dozens of different treatments to treat arterial plaque buildup, doctors are not worried about these post-cardiac trauma patients.
More information about cardiac health and heart attack prevention can be found through organizations like the American Heart Association.