Study shows genetic link to fatal health condition could aid future treatment
Thousands of lives could be saved every year after it was discovered a fatal cardiovascular condition could be linked to four genes, research has found.
A 10-year project, led by Professor Matt Bown (pictured) from the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, looked at 10,000 people worldwide and found those who had suffered an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) had four genes in common.
It is hoped that the findings could help doctors understand more about the condition, which can lead to fatal internal bleeding if left untreated.
Professor Matt Bown said: “Abdominal aortic aneurysm commonly affects the older population and can only be treated by surgery.
“Early detection is key to this condition which, if left untreated, can become a ticking time bomb for patients. Thousands of people die from burst AAAs each year yet about one in five men do not attend their free screening appointments so we can’t detect if there may be a problem.
“The discovery of the four genes, which is the culmination of more than a decade of a global research effort, could help us determine those at risk much earlier. If we are able to do this, then we could potentially save thousands of lives.”
The study was an international collaboration with researchers from New Zealand, South Africa, Poland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Iceland, Australia, Denmark, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Estonia, Germany, Sweden and the USA.
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