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SNPs and Extent of Atherosclerosis (SEA) Study

The SEA study is a genome-wide association study to identify genetic variants associated with premature atherosclerosis in subjects included in the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth (PDAY) repository - a unique NHLBI resource including data, DNA and arterial specimens from over 3000 multi-ethnic subjects 15-34 years of age who died of non-atherosclerotic causes (mostly trauma). All PDAY subjects had post-mortem quantitative assessment of raised atherosclerotic lesions in their aorta and coronary arteries - making this the largest and most carefully phenotyped cohort for premature atherosclerosis in the world. The goal of the current project was to use the quantitative measure of raised atherosclerotic lesions in the PDAY cohort as the target phenotype for a genome-wide association study and to use quantitative measures of subclinical atherosclerosis (coronary calcium and carotid IMT) in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) to confirm or refute candidate loci identified from the PDAY analysis. Identifying genetic factors that predispose individuals to premature atherosclerosis could lead to more effective screening and early treatment of high risk individuals and suggest novel molecular targets for treatment and prevention interventions.