Genetics of the APOL1 Marker in Sudden Cardiac Death

Published by Luke Morais on

Genetics of the APOL1 Marker in Sudden Cardiac Death


What is sudden cardiac death (SCD)?

SCD can happen when you don’t get immediate help for a cardiac arrest. Your heart stops beating because of an electrical issue, and you lose consciousness. Without CPR and other first aid, death can happen within minutes because the organs you rely on to keep you alive aren’t getting enough oxygen. 

SCD is the leading cause of natural death in the United States. It causes half of all heart disease deaths. SCD affects men twice as often as it does women. It’s rare in children, affecting only 1 to 2 per 100,000 children each year.


How was the research done?

There are different versions of a gene called APOL1 that can affect the risk of kidney and heart disease. This study will look at a specific version of APOL1 with a collection of markers called G3. This version is more common in people of European ancestry. It has not been studied as much as the G1 and G2 versions that are most often seen in African Americans. The study will look at patients who are receiving hemodialysis (a treatment for kidney disease) and see if having the G3 version of APOL1 is linked to a higher risk of dying from heart problems like SCD.


What is the significance of this study?

The study will use genetic testing to look at specific versions of a gene and their possible link to heart disease and SCD. This research could help us better understand the relationship between genetics, kidney disease, and heart health. This information could help doctors provide better care for those patients with this gene version.