Researchers have recently found ten new genes that can raise the risk of sudden cardiac death.
A team at John Hopkins University School of Medicine is one of many teams involved in this new study. They have discovered nine gene variations that raise the risk of sudden cardiac death, and confirmed the role of the tenth gene.
“Almost half were surprising new genes that no one would have guessed as being involved in cardiac biology,” said Dan Arking of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Last month the team discovered a single gene that raises the risk of cardiac death and has recently found nine more genes that modify the timing of heart contractions, which is known as the QT interval.
Having a prolonged QT interval puts a person of cardiac death. “Sudden cardiac death is a real problem. You don't get a second chance,” Arking said in an interview.
The study involved 15,842 people and showed that a person with a higher amount of these ten gene variations has a greater chance of having a prolonged QT interval.
“The problem in some sense is most of these people have no known risk factors. They don't have high cholesterol. They are not obese. In some sense, the genetics may be the only hope for some of these people,” added Arking.
The next step for these researchers is to find out more information about each of these genes and how big of a role they play in raising risks of cardiac death. They also hope to potentially find new drugs to treat this risk.