Knowing Genetic Heart Risk Helps People Lower Their Cholesterol
The more you know about your genetic risk of heart disease, the more likely you are to get your cholesterol levels under control, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Florida.
Researchers recruited 200 people between the ages of 45 to 65 who had an intermediate risk of heart disease, but who were not taking any cholesterol-lowering drugs. Half of the participants were given their 10-year risk score, taking into account many factors, such as blood pressure levels and smoking status. The rest were given a score that included an assessment of 28 genes known to increase the risk of heart disease. Everyone received information on ways to modify their risk, including taking statin medication.
When a followup was done six months later, the group that received genetic risk information had significantly lower LDL or bad cholesterol – specifically, 10 points lower.
Specifically, people who were told they had a greater likelihood of developing heart disease because of genetics were more likely to take statins.