A global hunt for genes that influence heart disease risk has uncovered 157 changes in human DNA that alter the levels of cholesterol and other blood fats – a discovery that could lead to new medications. Each of the changes points to genes that can modify levels of cholesterol and other blood fats and are potential drug targets. Many of the changes point to genes not previously linked to blood fats, also called lipids. A surprising number of the variations were also associated with coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. The research also reveals that triglycerides – another type of blood lipid – play a larger role in heart disease risk than previously thought.