Coronary heart disease, with myocardial infarction (MI) as the main manifestation, is the single leading cause of death worldwide and is the leading cause of death in Malaysia. It is estimated that in Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries, nearly a quarter of MI events occur in people younger than 50, resulting in a significant loss of productive working years due to death and disability. To help understand the likely causes of accelerating rates of MI in young South-East Asians, Cambridge has taken a new initiative to establish a large-scale bioresource of early-onset MI in Malaysia.
The Malaysian Acute Vascular Events RIsK (MAVERIK) study, in this regard, has been designed as a hospital-based case-control study of acute MI, which aims, at the first instance, to recruit 5000 participants (2500 first-onset MI patients and similar number of controls, aged <50 years) from Malaysia by end of 2018. The study is being conducted in partnership with the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), National Heart Institute (IJN) and other leading clinical cardiology centres across Malaysia as well the Broad Institute in the US. The key objectives of MAVERIK are to enable:
(i) assumption-free discovery science that leverages Malaysia’s unique history of multi-ethnicity and consanguinity through genomic studies of MI and cardiometabolic traits, with potential implications of results for downstream studies to elucidate the mechanistic basis of CHD and inform therapeutic target identification and prioritisation;
(ii) detailed evaluation of candidate cardiovascular risk factors of specific relevance to the Malaysian population, such as indigenous forms of tobacco consumption and local dietary patterns, with potential implications of results for public health policy;
(iii) enduring collaboration between Malaysian and UK scientists, who will jointly manage and harvest the dataset and bioresource of this distinctive and important research platform.
The MAVERIK study has been underpinned by a recently-awarded project grant from the UK Research Council/Newton Fund and the Malaysian Academy of Science.
Key people involved in the MAVERIK study:
Dr Rajiv Chowdhury and Dr Mohd Fairulnizal Bin Md Noh (UK and Malaysian lead PIs)
Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Bin Abdul Rahim and Professor Datuk Dr A Rahman Bin A. Jamal (co-investigator, clinical and epidemiological sciences)
Dr Ammu Kutty Radhakrishnan (co-investigator, laboratory sciences)
Dr Nur Suffia Sulaiman, Dr Puteri Sofia Nadira, Dr Karen Heasley (study coordinators)