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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
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Monday, April 9, 2007
MGH group to study genes and heart attacks
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have won a three-year, $4.2 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study genes that may put people at risk for heart attacks, the hospital said.
Dr. David Altshuler, also a founding member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and Dr. Sek Katherisan will look at gene variations in 1,500 people who had heart attacks at an early age and 1,500 who did not. They will use data from a study started in 1998 at eight sites, including Mass. General, that make up the Myocardial Infarction Genetics Consortium.
In men under 50 and women under 60, genes may play a greater role in heart attacks, they said. Heart attacks cluster in certain families, regardless of traditional risk factors, but this inherited risk is not explained by gene variants already known to contribute to disease.