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PJ Online | News: Statin reduces gene-variant coronary risk

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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 269 No 7226 p770
30 November 2002

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Statin reduces gene-variant coronary risk

Carriers of a common variant in the gene encoding for the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) have an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but this risk is reduced by statin therapy, researchers report.

Dr Helena Ledmyr, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and colleagues from Glasgow and Oxford universities used data from the west of Scotland coronary prevention study (WOSCOPS) to investigate how MTP, which is involved in cholesterol metabolism, influences heart disease risk.

They showed that carriers of the variant (MTP-493T) had lower total cholesterol levels than carriers of MTP-493G and hypothesised that carriers of the T allele would have a reduced risk of CHD. However, what they actually found was that people with this genotype who were given placebo in the trial had increased risk of CHD. "This effect was completely eliminated in the pravastatin group," Dr Ledmyr said. She concluded that the increased risk of CHD seen in carriers of MTP-493T is unrelated to cholesterol and cholesterol risk factors, but eliminated by statin therapy.

The data were presented at the American Heart Association scientific sessions held in Chicago last week.

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