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Aortic Valve Calcification May Have Genetic Element

Severe cases may be associated with angiotensin-converting enzyme gene mutation

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with certain angiotensin-converting enzyme gene polymorphisms may be at higher risk for severe aortic valve calcification than other patients, researchers report in the August issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Fatih S. Ertas, M.D., of the Ankara University School of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey, and colleagues conducted a study of 139 males and 166 females who were referred for aortic valve evaluation. All patients were Turkish of European descent and had a mean age of 69 years. Using echocardiography, the investigators placed the patients in three groups depending on the severity of aortic valve calcification.

Hypertension raised the odds of developing severe aortic valve calcification 5.6 times, while low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol raised the odds 2.7 times. Compared to those who had the insertion/insertion ACE genotype, patients who had insertion/deletion and deletion/deletion had a 3.2 times greater risk of severe calcification.

"The prognostic and therapeutic implication of angiotensin-converting enzyme genotypes in aortic valve sclerosis need to be clarified by further larger randomized trials," the authors conclude.

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