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Population cohort study finds six genetic variants associated with 'bad' cholesterol

A new study presages a real aim of genetics: to look at whole populations to in order determine the significance of individual genetic variants for individual health. The research team, whose work is published in Nature Genetics, find six novel genetic variants that are associated with lipid levels, a common indicator of heart or artery disease.

The power of 'genetic microscopes' has increased because the methods are in place to study many thousands of DNA samples. This study, involving over 20,000 samples and researchers from a dozen European countries, is the first to find such lipid-gene links by looking at the general population, rather than patients. The study is has been funded by an EU project, ENGAGE (www.euengage.org).

A search for a lipid-gene link through such large numbers of unselected people has not been published before. The findings increase hopes for improved predictive diagnosis, which could lead to improved public health measures and early prescription of effective treatments. Read more at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's press release...


Publication details:

Loci influencing lipid levels and coronary heart disease risk in 16 European population cohorts.
Aulchenko YS, Ripatti S, Lindqvist I, Boomsma D, Heid IM, Pramstaller PP, Penninx BW, Janssens AC, Wilson JF, Spector T, Martin NG, Pedersen NL, Kyvik KO, Kaprio J, Hofman A, Freimer NB, Jarvelin MR, Gyllensten U, Campbell H, Rudan I, Johansson A, Marroni F, Hayward C, Vitart V, Jonasson I, Pattaro C, Wright A, Hastie N, Pichler I, Hicks AA, Falchi M, Willemsen G, Hottenga JJ, de Geus EJ, Montgomery GW, Whitfield J, Magnusson P, Saharinen J, Perola M, Silander K, Isaacs A, Sijbrands EJ, Uitterlinden AG, Witteman JC, Oostra BA, Elliott P, Ruokonen A, Sabatti C, Gieger C, Meitinger T, Kronenberg F, Döring A, Wichmann HE, Smit JH, McCarthy MI, van Duijn CM, Peltonen L, for the ENGAGE Consortium
Nat Genet. 2008;. PMID: 19060911 DOI: 10.1038/ng.269

 

 

February 2009
ENGAGE Young Investigator


Yurii Aulchenko

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus University Medical Center, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Yurii is interested in understanding the mechanisms of genetic control of the determinants of human health and disease. He is working on developments of methods and software tools for analysis of complex traits (such as GenABEL package) and on application of these methods to study different complex traits. Within ENGAGE consortium he participated in identification of six novel loci not previously known to be involved in the control of human lipid levels.