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To Prevent Heart Attacks, Doctors Try a New Genetic Test

by Editorial
To Prevent Heart Attacks, Doctors Try a New Genetic Test


Regardless of the excessive hopes for the brand new assessments, there are various questions.

Some critics say {that a} deal with treating youthful individuals is misplaced as a result of they could not adjust to taking a statin or one other drug for the remainder of their lives. It may be tough for younger individuals to deal with potential threats to their well being a long time sooner or later, and a few of Dr. Rader’s sufferers have delay even getting polygenic danger assessments after he recommends them.

The true want, these critics say, is with the large group of older individuals who want cholesterol-lowering remedy however will not be getting it, or who’re abandoning their prescriptions. In a single research, about 40 % of individuals 65 and older who had a coronary heart assault and want lipid-lowering drugs for the remainder of their lives cease taking statins inside two years.

Others, like Dr. Rita F. Redberg, a heart specialist on the College of California, San Francisco, the editor at JAMA Inside Drugs and a critic of the overuse of statins, is anxious that polygenic danger scores might introduce new issues.

“There’s a whole lot of draw back to labeling individuals with a illness,” she mentioned.

The label, she added, “inexorably results in assessments and a seek for remedies.” And, she mentioned, “as a result of the individual, who now has grow to be a ‘affected person,’ is asymptomatic, extra assessments and potential remedies usually is not going to make the individual really feel any higher.”

Folks can go from pondering of themselves as wholesome to pondering of themselves as somebody with a illness. “Now, at any time when they expertise the frequent aches, pains and twinges of life, they marvel whether it is as a result of they’ve this ‘illness,’” Dr. Redberg mentioned. “And so they might then go to the physician and even emergency room for issues they might not have beforehand. And that additionally will result in extra assessments and procedures, with their attendant danger of harms.”

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