Genetic test IDs at-risk hypertensive patients

Myriad Genetics Inc. in Salt Lake City has launched a new genetic test called CardiaRisk to help physicians identify which hypertensive patients are at a significantly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The test also will identify which patients are likely to respond to low-salt diet therapy and antihypertensive drug therapy. It takes about two weeks to perform and costs $395.

CardiaRisk identifies patients with a greater risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and coronary disease by determining the presence of a genetic variation of the AGT gene. In a study of 422 patients, those with two copies of the variant AGT gene had a 2.6-times greater risk of coronary disease and a 3.4-times greater risk of MI. Hyper tensive patients with the variant gene are 43% more likely to progress, and their condition is more likely to occur earlier in life and become more severe.