Discovery of new gene variant associated with stroke and heart attack

A new gene variant associated with stroke and heart attack has been discovered by researchers at King’s College London.

The scientists have identified a gene marker that could be linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The team believe that a blood test could be developed based on the discovery. 

Analysis of data from 50,000 participants from a combined total of 82 studies found that a variation in a protein known as glycoprotein IIIa is associated with a greater risk of thrombotic stroke and heart attack. 

Multiple instances of the PlA2 genetic variant were found to be connected to an even more elevated risk, suggesting that tracking this genetic biomarker could be a useful means of addressing health problems in advance.

Stroke and heart attacks are among the leading killers in the UK and one of the main reasons for patients needing emergency care.  

Albert Ferro, professor of cardiovascular clinical pharmacology at King’s College London, said: “Such patients could be identified for a more determined reduction of risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.”