New biomarker identified to prevent heart attacks and stroke

22 August 2014

Researchers in Finland have determined that low expression of a fatty acid-binding protein - FABP4 - reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. These findings, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, could offer a potential for a new preventive drug for atherosclerosis.

Led by Professor Perttu Lindsberg, the findings are part of a long-term research project of the Department of Neurology at the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS). It suggests that people who inherit a genetic variant, which reduces levels of FABP4, from both parents have eight-fold lower odds for myocardial infarction than the rest of the population.

The researchers also discovered that patients with carotid stenosis who carried the protective gene variant suffered from strokes three times less frequently than people who had the condition but were without the gene.

This study is the first to determine a link between the FABP4 variant and a lower level of cholesterol in the blood, but the researchers found that the most noticeable decrease was found in obese patients.

Posted by Philip Briggs​

 

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