Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a complex multifactorial disorder, characterized by the narrowing of coronary arteries, due to the build-up of atherosclerotic plaques within the inner walls. The plaque is a fatty waxy substance that can harden over time. The narrowing of the vessels leads to decreased blood flow to the cardiac muscles, causing angina or chest pain. In addition, the plaque might occasionally dislodge from the walls, travel through the arteries, resulting in clotting and blockage of the arteries. CHD is associated with high rate of mortality and morbidity worldwide, and has a huge social and economic burden in society. Each year, approximately 7 million people worldwide die from CHD.
Several risk factors have been identified in association with CHD. These include obesity, smoking, hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Diagnosis of the condition can be done on the basis of tests, such as MRI or CT scans, and coronary angiography, a procedure allows for visualization of the lumen. CHD cannot be cured. However, it can be managed effectively, and progress can be stopped. Medications such as cholesterol-lowering medications, blood thinners, beta blockers, and/or ACE inhibitors are regularly used for managing the condition. Surgical options include angioplasty and stent placement to widen the narrowed arteries, or coronary artery bypass surgery, which involves creating a graft to bypass the blocked coronary arteries. Treatment needs to be supported with lifestyle modifications, including stopping smoking, transitioning to a healthy diet, and regular exercise.
Vatte et al., (2016) performed a case-control study with 1002 angiographically defined CAD patients from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and 984 controls lacking CAD based on echocardiogram and negative family history. The aim was to understand whether the KIF6 719Arg allele is associated with CAD in the studied group of patients. The authors found a lack of association between KIF6 Trp719Arg SNP and CAD (OR 0.976 95% CI 0.86-1.11; P=.704). Patients with CAD were stratified into two groups; one with Myocardial Infarction (MI) and the other group did not have MI and both groups were lacking the KIF6 Trp719Arg SNP association. The authors concluded that carriers of the KIF6 719Arg allele did not have an increased risk of CAD and non-fatal MI among patients from Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. This finding was in line with previous studies conducted worldwide.