Novel test to reveal genetic risk for heart diseases

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) Researchers have developed a once-in-a-lifetime test that could evaluate genetic markers associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease.

To develop the “Heart Ensure Panel” test, SRL Diagnostics, one of the leading chains of clinical diagnostic centres, conducted several studies on the Indian population to determine which genetic markers are relevant in the Indian context, an official statement said.

Knowing the genetic reasons behind heart disease may lead to improved preventive measures to deal with such problems.

“SRL has introduced ‘Heart Ensure Panel’ test which will evaluate genetic reasons behind the disease. This test should ideally be undertaken by individuals above the age of 30 years who may or may not have a family history of heart disease,” said Leena Chatterjee, director of Fortis SRL Labs & SRL Strategic Initiatives.

“It should also be undertaken by those individuals who have dyslipidaemia (high levels of cholesterol) so as to reduce the progression of coronary artery disease by modifying the treatment and setting revised targets of controlling lipid levels,” Chatterjee said.

Nearly 2.4 million Indians die due to heart disease every year, the statement said.

This panel of tests is important because it would encourage and enable an individual to be proactive about maintaining his/her own health, cut down on the lifestyle factors that can cause harm to heart health or consult a physician for therapeutic recommendations, thereby diminishing the risk as well as ensuring a holistic approach to countering heart diseases, Chatterjee said.

“Furthermore, this is a genetic test and has to be undertaken only once in life,” she added.

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