Researchers have identified a genetic mutation that could dramatically lower triglyceride levels and in effect, lower the risk for heart attack.
Two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirm people who have this gene mutation have lower triglyceride levels than the general population, and suffer fewer heart attacks.
These findings are expected to lead to new drug developments that would mimic the effect of this mutation.
A small California company has already developed a drug that counteracts the gene and found it cut triglycerides by more than 70 percent in patients with a disorder that makes them have high levels of the fat.
Outside experts say much more research is needed before a drug will be ready for use.