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Human susceptibility to coronary artery disease: lessons from chimpanzee resilience

Important lessons about human susceptibility to coronary atherosclerosis can be learned from the relative resilience of chimpanzees to coronary artery disease (CAD), despite their higher baseline plasma levels of LDL cholesterol and lipoprotein(a) than in humans. Evolutionary pressure and hyper-reactive T cells might have a role in the unique susceptibility of humans to CAD.

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Fig. 1: Differences in susceptibility to and underlying factors driving CAD between humans and chimpanzees.


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G.A.F. is grateful for grant support from the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia), Heart Research Australia and the NSW Office of Health and Medical Research. J.C.K. acknowledges research support from the US National Institutes of Health (R01HL148167), a New South Wales government health grant (RG194194), the Bourne Foundation and Agilent. H.M.M. is supported by the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry Marylou Ingram Scholars programme.

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Correspondence to Gemma A. Figtree.

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G.A.F. reports personal fees from AstraZeneca, CSL and Janssen; grants from Abbott Diagnostic; and a patent (Biomarkers and Oxidative Stress; US9638699B2) issued to the Northern Sydney Local Health District. J.C.K. is the recipient of an Agilent Thought Leader Award, which includes funding for research that is unrelated to the current manuscript.

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Nature Reviews Cardiology thanks Renu Virmani and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Figtree, G.A., Kovacic, J.C. & McGuire, H.M. Human susceptibility to coronary artery disease: lessons from chimpanzee resilience. Nat Rev Cardiol 19, 497–498 (2022).

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