Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early Heart Disease Linked To Genes, Insulin Resistance

Date:
August 13, 2001
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Why does heart disease seem to run in families? A new study in the August issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association examined families who developed early heart disease to determine if it was due to shared environmental factors – fatty foods, smoking – or if it was related to a “bad heart” gene.

DALLAS, August 10 – Why does heart disease seem to run in families?A new study in the August issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association examined families who developed early heart disease to determine if it was due to shared environmental factors – fatty foods, smoking – or if it was related to a “bad heart” gene.

Related Articles


“The study provides further evidence that genes play a large role in early-onset coronary heart disease (CHD) and that it clusters in families, regardless of environmental factors,” says Markku Laakso, M.D., chair of the department of medicine at the University of Kuopio in Finland, and senior author of the study.

The study indicates that traditional risk factors for CHD – high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity – only account for half of the risk for CHD. Several previous studies have demonstrated that early CHD runs in families, and genetic factors possibly explain the other 50 percent of the risk for CHD in men younger than age 55 and women younger than 65.

Researchers suspected that individuals who developed early disease might have genetic disorders that could lead to an increased risk for heart attacks.

One of the most common disorders that runs in families is insulin resistance syndrome – also known as “syndrome X” or “the metabolic syndrome” – which leads to type 2, or adult-onset diabetes. It is known to cause high levels of total cholesterol, high levels of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the “good” cholesterol) –all major risk factors for heart disease. Other effects of the syndrome, such as high levels of the clotting protein fibrinogen and high insulin levels, have also been linked to heart disease risk.

To determine if syndrome X clustered in this group of families, researchers determined levels of cardiovascular risk factors from siblings with and without early heart disease.

There were 101 individuals with early CHD, and 54 siblings of these individuals who were unaffected. Early CHD is defined as having a heart attack or vessel blockage of greater than 50 percent in men before age 55 and women before age 65. Oral glucose tolerance tests were performed in participants who had no previous diagnosis of diabetes. Blood glucose, insulin and serum free fatty acids were measured fasting and at one and two hours after taking 75 grams of glucose.

The researchers found that even in nondiabetic participants, individuals with CHD had higher insulin levels after the glucose tolerance test than their siblings without heart disease (475.7 vs. 331.8 picomoles per liter).

Individuals with heart disease had lower HDL levels compared to those without CHD: 1.22 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) (or 47 milligrams per deciliter, mg/dL) vs. 1.42 mmol/L (55 mg/dL). They also had higher triglyceride levels (1.91 vs. 1.68 mmol/L; or 74 vs. 65mg/dL), higher VLDL (1.25 vs. 1.06 mmol/L; or 48 vs. 41 mg/dL), and higher fibrinogen levels (3.8 vs. 3.4 g/L).

“It is not likely that lifestyle factors could explain the differences because obesity, alcohol intake, smoking and physical activity did not differ between these subjects; therefore the difference in risk between siblings is more likely due to genetic factors.

Thus the study shows that the combination of risk factors related to the insulin resistance syndrome is likely to explain the incidence of premature CHD in these families.

Further studies are needed to identify a gene predisposing to early atherosclerosis. Co-authors of the study include Anu Kareinen, M.D.; Laura Viitanen, M.D.; Pirjo Halonen M.Sc.; and Seppo Lehto, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Early Heart Disease Linked To Genes, Insulin Resistance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010810070129.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2001, August 13). Early Heart Disease Linked To Genes, Insulin Resistance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010810070129.htm
American Heart Association. "Early Heart Disease Linked To Genes, Insulin Resistance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010810070129.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins