For the study, the team examined four blood lipids (fats) high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, total cholesterol and triglycerides that are biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. The data for their sample of 70,000 individuals was taken from UK Biobank, a large-scale cohort study collecting genetic and health information from half a million participants.
The team divided the sample into two groups, those taking fish oil supplements (about 11,000) and those not taking fish oil supplements. Then they performed a genome-wide scan for each group, testing for 8 million genetic variants to compare. After running over 64 million tests, their results revealed a significant genetic variant at gene GJB2.