Some 100 Genes May Regulate Cholesterol

BOSTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Some 100 genes may regulate cholesterol levels, but U.S. researchers say they are not sure how most of these genes may regulate cholesterol metabolism.

Study co-author Dr. Sekar Kathiresan of Harvard Medical School in Boston says about half of the variability in two lipid levels — cholesterol and triglycerides — are thought to result from genetic factors, HealthDay News reported. Cholesterol and triglycerides are known risk factors for heart disease.

Kathiresan and colleagues measured lipid levels in more than 100,000 people and the researchers also scanned the study subjects’ genomes.

The study, published in Nature, found 95 genome sites in which tiny differences in genetic sequence seemed to correlate consistently with differences in lipid levels, and these sites may affect about one-quarter of blood lipid levels.

The researchers say the potential clinical applications of this research are many years away.

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