Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria

Gene variants in coronary artery disease – profiling needles in a haystack – to do or not to do?

Host: L. Donaldson

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of mortality amongst non-communicable diseases, globally. Coronary artery disease is one of the major causes of mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients. A variety of factors, from environmental, lifestyle and genetic predisposition are viewed as determinants of disease susceptibility. The underlying mechanisms of coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, is influenced by chronic inflammation, dyslipidaemia, obesity, elevated oxidative stress, chronic hyperglycaemia and hypercoagulation in affected individuals. A few genes of interest which we have investigated to date include: glutathione S transferase subtypes, uncoupling proteins, proinflammatory cytokines, drug transporters and coagulation factors. Considering the complexity of the pathologies associated with one disease, the compounding effect of comorbidities, and diverse population groups in South Africa – and globally, it is vital that genetic variants of key molecules implicated in pathologies, are identified. This information will, ultimately and ideally, contribute to a more personalised approach to patient care. 


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