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Amish Family Calcification Study (AFCS)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Braxton Mitchell

More than 1,000 volunteers have participated in the Amish Family Calcification Study. Analysis of DNA from blood samples of study participants has identified a variant in a gene that is related to having high levels of LDL (‘bad”) cholesterol. About 12% of Amish have this high cholesterol gene variant. Those with the variant not only have higher levels of LDL-cholesterol, but they also have higher levels of calcium in the blood vessels of the heart. We will next assess whether or not carriers of this variant might benefit from drug therapy. We are also working on making genetic testing for this variant available to the Amish community.