Applying genetic strategies to prevent atherosclerosis
Atherosclerotic disease of coronary and cerebral arteries accounts for almost half of all deaths in the United States each year. Heart attacks and strokes are often attributable to inherited predisposition, especially when they occur at a relatively early age. Researchers are accumulating information regarding the role of genetics in influencing the risk factors for atherosclerosis in several major categories, including lipids and lipoproteins (LDL HDL and VLDL cholesterol; Lp(a); triglycerides; apo ALAII, and B; apo E genotypes); glucose and insulin metabolism (diabetes, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance); prothrombotic factors (fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, factor VII coagulant activity, homocysteine); and hypertension. This chapter discusses the basic approaches for evaluating and addressing heritable factors for atherosclerosis.
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