Researchers identify new heart attack gene

Researchers haveidentified a genetic mutation that could dramatically lower triglyceridelevels, and in effect, lower the risk for heart attack.

Two studies published inthe New England Journal of Medicine confirm people who have this gene mutationhave lower triglyceride levels than the general population, and suffer fewerheart attacks.     These findings are expected to lead to new drugdevelopments that would mimic the effect of this mutation.

A small California companyhas already developed a drug that counteracts the gene, and found it cuttriglycerides by more than 70% in patients with a disorder that makes them havehigh levels of the fat.

Outside experts say muchmore research is needed before a drug will be ready for use.

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