New genes identified that help predict
abdominal aortic aneurysm risk

By Adrienne Mueller, PhD
September 28, 2020

Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a frequently fatal condition caused by bulging or weakening of the aorta. Investigators from 25 different institutions utilized data from the Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Program to perform the largest single-cohort genome-wide association study for abdominal aortic aneurysm, led by Stanford Cardiovascular Institute- and VA Palo Alto-affiliated senior author Philip Tsao, PhD, co-senior author Scott Damrauer, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, and first author Derek Klarin, MD, of the University of Florida.

Recently published in Circulation, their research essentially doubles the known number of genes associated with risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm and also demonstrates that abdominal aortic aneurysm is related more to diastolic than systolic blood pressure. Further, the authors have used the genetic data they collected to establish a risk score that will significantly improve our ability to identify individuals at risk for developing abdominal aortic aneurysms.

The American Heart Association reports further on this groundbreaking study in a full press release on their website.

Other Stanford Cardiovascular Institute-affiliated authors who contributed to this study include Cuiping Pan, Catherine Tcheandjieu, Joshua Spin and Themistocles Assimes.

The most common place for an aneurysm is the part of the aorta that runs through the abdomen, called the abdominal aorta. The abdominal aorta supplies the tissues and organs of the abdomen and lower limbs with oxygenated blood.

Dr. Philip Tsao