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U. conducts research, joins in fundraiser for heart disease

By Kristine Pratt | Posted - Sep 19th, 2013 @ 7:50pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly 600,000 Americans die every year from heart disease, but thanks to the American Heart Association, the University of Utah is conducting research to help prevent heart disease.

Dr. Neil Bowles and his team have been studying genetics during the research, and they have found that changes in human DNA could cause heart problems. He said the changes could be anything from a virus, to a gene defect that cause people to have heart conditions.

However, Bowles said his career and research wouldn't have even gotten started without a grant from the American Heart Association.

"So the American Heart Association has been very important to me to actually get my career going," Bowles said. "And they've continued to fund my research over the years."

The University of Utah is also involved in preventive care for heart disease and has an entire facility dedicated to those with heart conditions.

Dr. Lillian Khor said that's why it's so important to get involved with the American Heart Association.

"Because it's all about education and prevention by lifestyle modification, as well as knowing what your risks are."

The American Heart Association Heart Walk is Saturday, Sept. 21. Companies have sponsored the walk, and anyone can get involved to help fund the research at the University of Utah and across the nation. The goal for the Heart Walk is to raise $245,000.

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