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Protein made by fat cells may increase risk of heart attack in older adults
Date:7/30/2008

Adiponectin, a protein produced by fat cells, may play a pivotal and counterintuitive role in cardiovascular health for older Americans according to a new study accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

As people lose weight, the concentration level of adiponectin in the bloodstream increases. In previous studies, high adiponectin concentration has been associated with lower occurrence of diabetes and cholesterol abnormalities. The new JCEM study reveals, however, that despite the known association with blood sugar and cholesterol parameters, elevated adiponectin levels may lead to heightened risk of heart attack in older adults.

This study examined a sample of 1,386 participants of the population-based Cardiovascular Health Study from 1992 to 2001. Participants consisted of adults aged 65 to 100 years and were recruited from four field centers in the United States. Subjects underwent physical examinations and laboratory testing. Of these participants, 604 experienced a heart disease event. Those with the highest levels of adiponectin were most likely to suffer a heart attack.

"This study is significant because previous findings have been contradictory, and the present investigation includes the largest number of heart attacks in an elderly group to date," said Jorge Kizer, M.D., associate professor of medicine and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College and a cardiologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center both in New York, N.Y. "Our findings make a persuasive case that adiponectin is in fact associated with an increase in heart-disease risk in older persons."

Dr. Kizer initially expected that the higher levels of adiponectin would predict lower cardiovascular risk, and studies in middle-aged adults appeared to support this premise. Yet the findings are consistent with recent studies linking higher adiponectin to mortality in the elderly
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Contact: Aaron Lohr
alohr@endo-society.org
240-482-1380
The Endocrine Society
Source:Eurekalert

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