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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

SAVE BC, the Study to Avoid CardioVascular Events in British Columbia

  • Project Leaders: Liam Brunham, Paul Man, Simon Pimstone
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $400000
  • Program/Competition: User Partnership Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2016
  • Status: Closed

Heart disease is the leading cause of British Columbians. When heart disease occurs at a young age, there is a strong genetic component, which implies that relatives of an individual with early onset heart disease may be at high risk. This project established a program, called the Study to Avoid cardiovascular Events in British Columbia (SAVE BC), designed to identify and screen families with early onset heart disease. The objectives of SAVE BC are to improve the identification and screening of individuals with a family history of early onset heart disease, and to investigate the genetic causes of early onset heart disease.

Over the period of this funding, Prof. Liam Brunham and his team have established the SAVE BC protocol, in partnership with Providence Health Care Research Institute. The program has been launched at two sites in BC, and enrolled >800 individuals. The groundwork has now been laid for the provincial roll out of SAVE BC, starting with a site in Kelowna set to launch at the end of 2019. Some early achievements are the identification of an inherited form of high cholesterol in ~14% of SAVE BC index cases and demonstrating the feasibility of a screening platform that identifies many individuals at risk for heart disease. Ultimately, SAVE BC aims to be a model for family based screening for diseases with a genetic component, and this could be applied to other disease and other provinces or countries.