Every patient knows the drill. Going to the hospital means filling out forms, and somewhere on that form is a place to list an emergency contact, with name, address, phone number, and relationship — just in case.

A study published Thursday in Cell found a novel use for that information. Analyzing data pulled from electronic health records representing a diverse, multiethnic population of patients at three New York hospitals, researchers from Columbia University wove a network of 7.4 million family connections. Those relationships confirmed family patterns already recognized in, for example, type 2 diabetes. They also reported new connections — “good” cholesterol is more heritable than “bad” — that could potentially help understand disease and improve ways to treat it.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus. To get you started, enjoy 50% off your first 3 months!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • Online intelligence briefings
  • Frequent opportunities to engage with veteran beat reporters and industry experts
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

Your daily dose of news in health and medicine

Privacy Policy