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Biomarkers improve ischemic stroke prediction
Date:12/18/2008

HOUSTON - (Dec. 18, 2008)- Testing patient's blood for two proteins or biomarkers that occur when inflammation is present could help doctors identify which patients are more likely to have a stroke, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in a report that appears online in the journal Stroke.

The biomarkers -- lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) -- are known to be associated with an increased risk of the kind of stroke that occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked. In this study, researchers led by Dr. Vijay Nambi, assistant professor of medicine-atherosclerosis and vascular medicine at BCM and staff cardiologist Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at The Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, studied 949 people taking part in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study (ARIC), a large scale study designed to investigate the causes and course of atherosclerosis. Of those, 183 developed a stroke.

When they looked at the blood test results for the patients in the study, they found that testing for the two inflammation biomarkers helped obtain a better picture of the risk of stroke for each patient.

"Adding each biomarker individually to the traditional risk factors for ischemic stroke improved prediction," Nambi said. "However, adding both, along with taking into account how the two interact, gave the most improvement in prediction."

The traditional risk factors used to determine the likelihood of this type of stroke include age, sex, race, whether a person smokes, blood pressure, diabetes, use of high blood pressure medication and body mass index as a measure of obesity.

Nambi also examined whether setting a scale similar to that used in heart attack (low, intermediate and high) for the identification of stroke risk could be valuable.

"Being able to determine who is in more danger of stroke co
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Contact: Graciela Gutierrez
ggutierr@bcm.edu
713-798-4710
Baylor College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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