PHOENIX — Dignity Health in Arizona is launching a research study that will use genetic testing to determine people at risk of developing heart disease.
The study will collect DNA samples from 2,000 men and women who have no known history of heart disease, which will then be analyzed for genetic markers known to cause the conditions, according to a Dignity Health press release.
The method could be used globally to prevent heart disease if proven effective in clinical trials, Dignity Health said.
“This should be the last century of heart disease,” Robert Roberts, medical director of Cardiovascular Genomics for Dignity Health in Arizona, said in a press release.
“I am hopeful that through the results of this study we will be able to save even more lives in the future by implementing genetic testing for early prevention of coronary artery disease as routine clinical application. This approach would represent a paradigm shift in the prevention of this disease.”
The genetic markers in each participant will be evaluated to determine a low, medium or high chance of developing heart disease.
Diabetes, high cholesterol, and whether the person is physically active or smokes will be considered when determining the participants’ risk for the disease.
The duration of the study is expected to last 10 years, with DNA samples collected in the first two years being used to evaluate the risk of developing heart disease followed by an annual check-up on the participants’ heart health and lifestyle changes.
Eligible participants are men and women between the ages of 40 and 60 with no known history of heart disease.