Heart attack is the leading cause of death in the United States. For decades, we have known that risk for heart attack runs in families. Family history is particularly important when the disease occurs at a young age. These observations suggest that genetics plays an important role for heart attack. Indeed, in the past 10 years, researchers have begun identifying the mutations that drive cardiac illnesses in hopes of unlocking more personalized approaches to prevention, diagnostics, and treatments.
Rates of type 2 diabetes are on the rise throughout the world. But Latin American countries carry a disproportionately heavy burden. In Mexico, the disease affects an estimated 14 percent of adults, twice the rate in Europeans and white Americans.
Experts believe this is the result of both environmental and genetic factors. Not enough is known, however, about the disease susceptibility in Latin America because most large-scale genomic studies have focused on European populations.