Spanish scientists have developed a genetic test that, just by analyzing saliva, can predict the risk of having a myocardial heart attack within ten years. The new test analyzes 11 genetic variants that predict the long-term cardiovascular risk of asymptomatic people and complements and reclassifies those who already have classic clinical risk factors: hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity and sedentary lifestyle. The study was published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.
The research has followed for six years to 52,000 patients between 30 and 74 years. “In Spain, 116,000 cases of myocardial heart attack occur every year,” said Dr. Roberto Elosua, the Spanish referent of the study and coordinator of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Genetics Group of the Hospital del Mar de Investigaciones Médicas (IMIM) in Barcelona. Has explained that the results of the research show that the genetic test “is a very useful tool” for the management of cardiovascular disease, “because of its high predictive value and, consequently, preventive.”

To prevent this disease, it is advisable to quantify cardiovascular risk, which is based on the specific characteristics of each person: age, gender, whether or not he smokes, his cholesterol, blood pressure and the diagnosis of diabetes.
With this information it is possible to define validly when a person has low, moderate or high risk. By groups, 10% of the population has a high risk; 24%, moderate; And the remaining 66%, low.
Preventative strategies usually focus on high-risk individuals, but, as Elosua has pointed out, “the most recent epidemiological data confirm that approximately 60% of myocardial heart attacks occur in people in the moderate or low-risk group.” The purpose of all this project is to provide data to ensure that, within a decade, the evolution of the patient is anticipated and accurately placed in the risk index.

The researchers highlight two possibilities of application for the new test: to incorporate it within the portfolio of health services, to target patients at moderate cardiovascular risk, or as a preventive health strategy for people with a family history that have no visible clinical factors, but Which show a greater or lesser degree of genetic risk. According to Elosua, “this genetic determination could be performed only once in a lifetime and will provide very useful predictive information applied as a preventive health strategy.”