Bad habits are not the only ones that increase the risk of heart disease: also small genetic variations

Smoking and eating a poor diet are the biggest risks when developing cardiovascular disease. But nevertheless, there are people who are more susceptible to heart disease due to small genetic variants.

Two of these small generic variations that can modulate platelet behavior, and which can therefore affect the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, have now been identified by researchers from the Cardeza Foundation for Genetic Research at Thomas Jefferson University of U.S.


Platelets are small cells that circulate in the blood; they participate in the formation of blood clots and in the repair of damaged blood vessels. When a blood vessel is injured, platelets adhere to the damaged area and are distributed along the surface to stop bleeding (this process is known as adhesion).

The number of platelets and their volume are regulated by the expression of certain genes. And this is important, because, generally, when platelets are activated, they bind together and contribute to coagulation. In this regard, if a heart disease also accumulates fat, cholesterol and other unhealthy substances in the walls of the arteries It contributes to the development of diseases such as atherosclerosis.

The CD36 gene is one of these genes that regulates platelet levels and their activation., as can be seen from this study in which small changes in the genetic code of CD36 were sought. The review of the data identified 81 changes in the genome, two of which were these functional variants.

Researchers are now trying to identify what protein it is and the mechanism by which it can regulate the expression of CD36 in order to establish people who are more at risk of heart disease and thus establish more effective prevention therapies.

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