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Extra test for heart patients


A panel of experts has called for traditional risk assessments for heart disease to incorporate a test for a specific inflammatory marker in a bid to prevent incidences of heart attack and stroke.

The researchers, writing in a supplement to the American Journal of Cardiology, said that testing for lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) should be used as an adjunct to traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessments.

Their findings build on guidelines for the use of inflammatory markers in patients at moderate to high CVD risk to improve identification of those at higher risk for heart attack and stroke who would benefit from therapeutic and lifestyle treatments.

The report was written by a panel of experts in the fields of cardiology, neurology and laboratory medicine who were asked to review the rapidly emerging literature on Lp-PLA2, an enzyme implicated in the formation of rupture prone plaque.

“Elevated Lp-PLA2 levels should prompt consideration of increasing the cardiovascular risk category from moderate to high or high to very high risk, directing initiation or intensification of statin therapy to reduce LDL-cholesterol to prevent heart attacks and strokes,” said Peter Jones, MD, one of the report’s authors.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

American Journal of Cardiology

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