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Circulating levels of a lung protein found to be 'strongly predictive' of cardiovascular disease
Date:6/7/2011

A blood protein known as surfactant protein-D (SP-D), which is mainly synthesised in the lungs, has been described as "a good predictor" of cardiovascular disease following a large study in North America. Reporting the study online today in the European Heart Journal, the investigators said that circulating SP-D levels were clearly associated with CVD and total mortality in patients with angiographically diagnosed coronary artery disease independent of other well established risk factors (such as age, smoking, cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels).(1)

In the lungs SP-D has a role in the body's defensive response tot the many microorganisms and antigens inhaled each day, by binding to their surface and promting their clearance from the body. Blood levels of SP-D increase when the lungs are inflamed and not working well - for example, when someone catches a cold, flu or other respiratory tract infection. Blood levels also increase in those who smoke or develop a chronic lung condition such as asthma, emphysema or obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In healthy people with normal lung function blood levels of SP-D are low, but when lung function is impaired (as with infections, smoking or COPD), SP-D leaks from the lungs into the blood and then into the circulation, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis.

This study aimed to determine whether or not circulating SP-D is related to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in two independent cohorts: first, a large cohort of patients having coronary angiography for suspected coronary artery disease (CAD); and second, a "replication" cohort of ex- and current smokers with mild airflow restriction but without a known history of CVD.

"We've known for a long time that chronic lung inflammation is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and total mortality," said investigator Dr Don Sin from the Providence Heart and Lung Institute at St Paul's Hospital, and Univ
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Contact: Jacqueline Partarrieu
press@escardio.org
33-492-947-756
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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