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Risk of Heart Attack Can Now Be Predicted

A certain biomarker in the blood may predict the risk of heart attack or death for patients with coronary heart disease //, according to a new study.

Researchers conducted a study to determine whether blood levels of placental growth factor (PIGF) can predict risk for death or non-fatal heart attack in patients with acute chest pain. PIGF is a member of the vascular growth factor family and it acts as an instigator of hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Researchers took various measurements from 547 patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and 626 patients who visited emergency rooms complaining of chest pain.

The researchers found that in patients with ACS, elevated PIGF levels indicated a higher rate of non-fatal heart attacks or death. It was seen that, patients with elevated levels were more than three-times more likely to experience these cardiac events than patients without elevated levels. In patients with acute chest pains, those with high PIGF levels were also at significantly increased risk compared with patients with low PIGF levels.

Researchers conclude that PIGF blood levels are valuable predictors of outcomes in patients with known or suspected ACS. They also say that, “PIGF plasma levels represent a potentially powerful clinical biomarker of vascular inflammation and adverse outcomes in patients with ACS.”

Thus Measuring PIGF levels may extend the predictive and prognostic information gained from traditional inflammatory markers.

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