Healthy Behavior Kicks Off Coronary Disease

December 3
9:06 AM 2016

We got two news for you. The good news: Healthy behavior appears to slash the risk of coronary disease in people at high genetic risk for events. The bad news: Folks with 'good genes' cant expect their genetic makeup to offset bad habits, warns a senior cardiologist here.
Dr. (Col) Anil Dhall, Director of Cardiovascular Sciences at Venkateshwar Hospital said that lifestyle is important regardless of whether your genetic risk is high or low.

Genetics are important, modification by lifestyle changes, diet and environmental influences can be effected and remains critical, observes hall citing recent research done in the US.

Researchers from Massachussets General Hospital, in Boston, used their previously developed 'polygenic score' - derived from a combination of 50 genetic polymorphisms - to quantify the genetic risk of coronary artery disease across four cohorts for a total of 55,685 subjects.

A 'healthy lifestyle score' was then applied to the same participants, derived from information on current smoking, weight, physical activity, and diet.

Healthy behaviors appear to have a profound effect in mitigating genetic risk. Indeed, across all levels of genetic risk, a favorable lifestyle appeared to cut the likelihood of coronary events roughly in half.

Confirming the validity of the polygenic score, the risk of incident coronary events was 91 per cent higher among subjects in the highest quintile as compared with those in the lowest. Likewise, subjects with a lifestyle score of 3 or 4 also had a substantially lower risk for coronary events than those with a score of zero or 1.

So basically, bad genes/favorable lifestyle is approximately equal to good genes/unfavorable lifestyle. The polygenic risk score used in the study is not yet commercially available. But the point made by the new research is that people do not need a genetic score to know whether or not they should be adopting a healthy lifestyle.

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