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Major Dallas Heart Study Findings

In keeping with its original mandate, the Dallas Heart Study has made fundamental contributions to the prevention and treatment of heart disease, leading to the publication of more than 230 papers in leading medical journals.

  • Use of novel genetic research tools to demonstrate that moderate lowering of cholesterol beginning at a young age is a much more powerful way to prevent heart disease and its complications than the current strategy of waiting until middle age or later to begin treatment. This finding will have an important impact on future cholesterol treatment guidelines.
  • The discovery of the role of PCSK9 in cholesterol metabolism, leading to the development of new cholesterol-lowering drugs.
  • The identification of barriers to the treatment of high blood pressure and the development of new strategies to treat high blood pressure more effectively in the community.
  • The discovery of a novel DNA sequence variation that increases the risk of having a heart attack and acts independently from all known risk factors. A test for this new gene variant is now commercially available.
  • The identification of new target populations for the efficient application of cardiovascular imaging tests.
  • The discovery of a new biomarker that predicts the probability of developing heart disease or dying from cardiac causes more powerfully than traditional risk factors or C-reactive protein.