A gene which raises a person’s risk of having a heart attack has been discovered by German researchers, reports Mail Online.
Is it possible that you have the ‘heart attack gene’?
According to the report, scientists at the German Heart Centre in Munich and at the University of Leicester believe carriers of the gene variation are 15% more likely to have a heart attack than those who don’t carry it.
They say more than half of people have the gene variation.
Researchers studied 30,000 people and found 64% of them carried the gene variation.
Professor Heribert Schunkert from the German Heart Centre explained that people with the gene variation have stickier platelets which make heart attacks more likely, Mail Online reports.
This is because their sticky platelets make the blockage of a blood vessel more likely to form.
What do these findings mean?
Researchers hope their findings will make it easier for doctors to tell which of their patients are most likely to have a heart attack and that this will lead to better treatment.
They are also working on a test which will allow doctors to establish whether or not a person has the gene variation.
Findings of this study are certainly good news considering that, according to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 17 million people die of cardiovascular disease (CVDs), particularly heart attacks and strokes, every year.
What’s even more encouraging is that scientists believe this could lead to the development of drugs which reduce the stickiness of the platelets and that this could reduce a person's risk of having a heart attack.