The study, first published in the science journal Nature, could help in the development of new treatments for heart disease, which affects about 2.5 million people in the UK and can be caused by high cholesterol levels. It could also pave the way for a genetic test that would predict the risk of a person suffering from a heart condition later in life.
- How was it compiled?
More than 100 researchers from 17 countries, including the UK, examined the genetic data of more than 100,000 people who had taken part in 46 previous studies.
- PR strategy
On 28 July, Nature sent out a press release - under embargo until 4 August - to about 5,000 science, health and environment correspondents around the world. It also liaised closely with the scientists involved in the study so they could prepare their own media releases and statements. Rebecca Walton, in the Nature press office, handled the PR support.
- Media coverage
The study received widespread coverage on 4 and 5 August, both in the UK - where The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and BBC Online were among those carrying the story - and internationally, including in the US, India, Australia and Middle East.
95 different genes that affect cholesterol levels have been identified
100k people had their genetic data analysed during the study