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VAP Cholesterol Test Helps In Search For New Heart Disease Drugs
Date:2/16/2009

Peer-reviewed journal, Science, reports that advanced cholesterol test aids in identifying connection between improved lipid profile and heart protection

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Using the VAP Cholesterol Test from Atherotech, Inc., University of Maryland researchers have found an association between a rare gene mutation and heart protection. The information reported in a recent study could help in the development of heart disease risk-lowering drugs and also demonstrates the value of advanced lipid profile testing in the identification of individuals at increased risk of heart disease.

The genome-wide association study (GWAS) of fasting and postprandial triglyceride levels was performed as part of the Heredity and Phenotype Intervention (HAPI) Heart Study. The results, published in the highly respected journal, Science, identified a specific gene mutation (APOC3 R19X) present in 5 percent of a Lancaster County, Pa., Amish community. This rare genetic occurrence prevents the production of a protein (apoC-III) that leads to increased rates of atherosclerosis.

Toni I. Pollin, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the triglyceride study's lead investigator, said participants who were carriers of the mutation had one of their inherited APOC3 genes "switched off," apparently resulting in several cardiovascular benefits. The benefits included low triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, high HDL (good cholesterol) levels and protection against heart disease as evidenced by decreased levels of coronary artery calcification.

The association between these improved lipid profiles and decreased coronary artery calcification - an underlying indicator of coronary heart disease - was confirmed using the expanded cholesterol profiling capabilities of the VAP (Vertical Auto
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SOURCE Atherotech, Inc.
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