Research Update: Discovery of new mechanisms for coronary disease

Lead Researchers: Prof Gemma Figtree, Dr Kristen Bubb

Professor Figtree’s team have established a large cohort study of patients who are at risk, or suffering from coronary artery disease. Patients volunteer, and consent to contribute a blood sample and their de-identified data to the study, allowing the team to study new mechanisms of coronary artery disease. The team is particularly interested in comparing novel markers (genomic, metabolomic, inflammatory) in people with extensive coronary disease explained by traditional risk factors, versus those who have extensive disease that is not explained by traditional risk factors, and versus healthy controls. They have studied almost 700 patients presenting with

They have studied almost 700 patients presenting with life- threatening heart attacks to Royal North Shore Hospital, looking particularly at the percentage of patients who have no risk factors and effectively look up from their hospital beds to say, “Why me, doc?”. Over the last decade this percentage has increased from 11% to 27%, independent of age or sex. This study was featured on the ABC’s Health Report by Sophie Scott, with a reach of over 27 million, as well as extensive radio coverage. It highlights the need for ongoing efforts to unravel the “missing” biology of coronary disease.

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