New studies has identified that a gene that causes the heart to become enlarged could be the major factor of heart attacks and heart failures. A journal published in Nature Genetics reveals a gene called osteoglycin, which previously not been linked to heart function, now plays a key role in regulating heart growth. The cause of the enlarged heart is due to this gene acting abnormally in some people.
Scientists believe that enlarged hearts are caused by a combination of genetic factors and external stimuli such as high blood pressure and obesity. However, the role played by genes has remained largely unknown.
The researchers found that higher than normal levels of osteoglycin were associated with the heart becoming enlarged in rats and mice and in humans.
Researchers hope that their findings will provide new avenues for treating people who either have an enlarged heart or are at risk of developing one. At present enlarged hearts can only be treated by lowering blood pressure.
Further information: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/105682.php