Skip Over Navigation Links

Notice

Because of a lapse in government funding, the information on this website may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the we​bsite may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. The NIH Clinical Center (the research hospital of NIH) is open. For more details about its operating status, please visit cc.nih.gov. Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at USA.gov.

Gene Variant Linked to Risk of Stroke and Heart Attack for Those on Plavix

NIGMS Media Availability

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 25, 2009
  Contact:
Alisa Machalek, NIGMS
301-496-7301
machalea@nigms.nih.gov

WHAT:

A new study reports that a gene variant carried by about a third of the population plays a major role in this group’s response to an anti-clotting medicine, clopidogrel (Plavix). People with the variant produce a defective version of the CYP2C19 enzyme and are less able to activate the drug.

One of the world’s best-selling medicines, Plavix prevents blood clots in people with heart disease by keeping platelets from sticking together. But about 30 percent of people respond poorly to the drug and are at increased risk for dangerous events like strokes and heart attacks.

By performing a sophisticated method called a genome-wide association study in two distinct populations, Pennsylvania Amish and residents of urban Baltimore, the researchers found that a common variant of the CYP2C19 gene is a key determinant of how people respond to Plavix. The CYP2C19 enzyme chemically modifies the drug inside the body, converting it to the active form.

ARTICLE:

"Association of Cytochrome P450 2C19 Genotype with the Antiplatelet Effect and Clinical Efficacy of Clopidogrel Therapy" by Alan R. Shuldiner, Jeffrey R. O’Connell, Kevin P. Bliden, et. al. The paper will appear in the August 26, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

SPOKESPEOPLE:

Rochelle M. Long, Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health Pharmacogenetics Research Network, is available to comment on this work and its importance to the field of pharmacogenetics.

CONTACT:

To schedule an interview, contact Alisa Machalek in the NIGMS Office of Communications and Public Liaison at 301-496-7301 or alisa.machalek@nih.gov.

 

###

More information on the Pharmacogenetics Research Network is available at /Research/FeaturedPrograms/PGRN/.

NIGMS is a part of NIH that supports basic research to increase our understanding of life processes and lay the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. For more information on the Institute's research and training programs, see http://www.nigms.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

This page last reviewed on November 14, 2014