Thu, 11/02/2017 – 4:00pm
Scientists at the Scripps Translational Science Institute and The Scripps Research Institute have announced the launch of a smartphone-app research study that seeks to understand how receiving personal genetic risk information impacts heart health decisions. The MyGeneRank app allows individuals with genetic data from 23andMe to obtain an estimated genetic risk score for coronary artery disease. Surveys and Apple HealthKit data will be used to determine if this information helped guide decision-making related to lifestyle modification and use of statin medications. Many health conditions, including coronary artery disease (CAD), are caused by a combination of our environment, behaviors and genes. While patients can control some factors that may impact their chances of developing disease, the contribution of their genes remains encoded in their DNA throughout their lives. Now, extensive research has shown that a genetic risk score can be used to identify people with low, intermediate and high risk for CAD. It has also been determined that the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins, provides greater benefit and protection against disease for people with a high genetic risk for CAD. Additionally, despite their inherited genetic risks, individuals have the ability to offset much of their genetic risk for CAD by maintaining healthy lifestyle habits.