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Genetic link discovered for triglyceride levels

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who have a family history of high triglyceride levels may want to consider seeking a cholesterol test, as a new study has found that genetic factors play a role in the development of hypertriglyceridemia (HTG).

Researchers from the University of Webster Ontario examined the DNA of more than 500 patients who were being treated for HTG. They found that these patients were more than twice as likely to have certain genetic variations as individuals with healthy cholesterol.

"It means that to get a full picture of a patient's genetic risk, you need to consider both common and rare variants in many genes simultaneously, and to use methods that will detect both types of variation," said Robert Hegele, who led the investigation.

He added that the knowledge of a genetic basis for HTG could help doctors better understand their patients' risk for developing heart conditions, which could enable them to be more selective of which patients they offer cholesterol testing.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. Diagnostic tools that identify patients who are at risk could help reduce the number of deaths.

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