Currently only about half of heart attack cases can be attributed to known risk factors and it is likely that a limited number of genes may be involved in the development of acute coronary syndromes. In 1 May Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, Stephen Harrap and colleagues from the University of Melbourne, have identified areas on chromosomes two, three, and 20 that may render individuals susceptible to myocardial infarction (MI) and unstable angina (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2002, 22:874-878).

In the Acute MI Genetic Origins (AMIGO) study, Harrap et al. used genetic maps to scan the chromosomes of 61 pairs of siblings reporting MI before the age of 70 years. These results were then compared with 91 MI control patients who had no history of sibling MI.

Multipoint linkage analysis in 53 sibling pairs indicated that three regions of DNA had a lod score exceeding...

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