Heart Matters

Genetic Clues to Heart Health

March 17, 201415 min
Hosted by: Janet Wright
Guest: Christopher O'Donnell
We know that genes play a role in cardiovascular health, but new research has identified specific DNA regions that are associated with risk factors for coronary heart disease. It's estimated that 30-50% of cardiovascular health is influenced by family history or genetics, while the rest is influenced by other environmental factors, diet and exercise. How might these new genetic discoveries lead to new treatment options? Dr. Christopher O'Donnell, associate director and scientific director of the SHARe Project of the Framingham Heart Study at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and associate clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts, talks about his work genotyping the single-nucleotide polymorphisms of large cohort study participants. How are genome-wide association studies leading to discovery of new genes associated with various diseases, and will these findings move us

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