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Diagnostics Genetics and epigenetics, Hematology

Diversity in DNA

Risk of coronary heart disease can vary between genetic populations – and now, evidence from the Strong Heart Study is providing insight into the association between epigenetic factors and heart disease across these groups (1). Researchers analyzed each participant’s genome for blood DNA methylation and found 505 differentially methylated positions associated with coronary heart disease risk in American Indian adults.

“It can be challenging to do field research with remote population groups that don’t have easy access to hospitals and clinics, so they are often left out of research projects like this,” said senior author Shelley Cole (2). “The Strong Heart Study is providing extremely valuable insights for the participating tribes as well as for the broader global community about how environmental factors influence our health.”

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  1. A Navas-Acien et al., JAMA Cardiol, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34347013.
  2. Texas Biomedical Research Institute (2021). Available at: https://bit.ly/3hugtv3.
About the Author
Olivia Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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