Multi-gene test may find risk for heart disease and more

August 13, 2018 - 2:18 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Want to know your inherited risk of a heart attack? Today's genetic testing can't tell much — it mostly looks for rare mutations in one or a few genes, while common threats like heart disease or diabetes are caused by lots of genes working together.

Now researchers have developed a new way of analyzing genetic data that may one day help identify people at high risk before they show symptoms.

Called a polygenic risk score, it measures millions of small genetic variations that add up to cause harm.

Monday, researchers from the Broad (brohd) Institute reported the system so far can measure risk for coronary artery disease, Type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, breast cancer and an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.

The findings were reported in Nature Genetics.

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