Gene map may identify heart disease risk for people with Typ
A new study confirmed a risk score, based on a map of genetic variants known to affect blood pressure, successfully identified people with Type 2 diabetes who are at increased risk for heart attack or stroke. Genetic risk scores, like the one examined in this study, may help identify risk very early in the disease process and indicate the need for more intensive prevention efforts, such as healthy lifestyle changes among people with Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers assessed the health records of 6,335 participants in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial database for whom genetic data were available. The study group consisted of 37% women, and participants self-identified their race or ethnicity: 15% were African American, 6% were Hispanic; 70% were white; and 9% selected the category "other." All participants had Type 2 diabetes and elevated blood pressure, and they were followed for 3.5 years.

A genetic variant map of more than 1,000 common genetic variants known to affect blood pressure was compared to the DNA of the study participants to determine participants' genetic risk. More matches among the participant's DNA and the map of known blood pressure genetic variants equated to a higher genetic risk score.

Researchers found that the genetic risk score identified study participants with a higher risk of cardiovascular events:
-For people with higher than average genetic risk scores, each degree higher was associated with a 12% higher risk of heart disease or stroke events.
-The association of genetic risk with cardiovascular events was the same even if participants were taking medicines to manage blood sugar levels.