People with a rare genetic mutation in the gene encoding apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3) not only have lower plasma triglyceride levels, they also have a decreased risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), researchers report in two independent studies published online June 18, 2014, in the New England Journal of Medicine [1,2]. This could eventually lead to the development of new drugs that mimic this genetic effect, although that potential therapy is far away.

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They further reported that the gene is present in one out of 150 people. I wonder if the old age in my mother’s family line (Her father died at age 102 who was also 5 foot tall and weighted 300 lbs, and her grandmother died at 114 years old) reflected that they may have had this particular genetic coding. Her diet was terrible by today’s standards, so this might explain her long life.

Tags: heart disease, genetic mutation, prevention