A protein enables cardiovascular risk assessment

April 4, 2013, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Researchers at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have managed to predict the probability of a cardiovascular patient suffering a heart attack, stroke or arterial occlusion within three months. In the long-term, this knowledge may enable targeted preventive measures. The results of the study have appeared in the current issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the Western industrial world. Around half of all deaths in Germany result from heart or vascular disease. In collaboration with the Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, the research group headed by Dr. Stephan von Haehling from the Department of Cardiology at Campus Virchow-Klinikum examined a total of 2,568 patients between 57 and 79 years of age, who had visited the clinic presenting heart or chest pains. They were suffering from chronic symptoms resulting from a narrowing of the or had an acute incident, such as a heart attack, due to such changes. Blood was drawn from the patients and the serum frozen at minus 80°C. The samples were then analyzed for the concentration of a specific protein, the PAPP-A (pregnancy-associated plasma protein A).

PAPP-A had initially been detected in the 1970s in the of pregnant women. The concentration of this protein in the blood of pregnant women provides indications of in the DNA of the fetus, and is usually used for fetal screening. Since 2001, researchers have been working on the possibility of also using PAPP-A for assessing the risk in association with cardiovascular diseases.

The current study has demonstrated that all patients, who suffer a heart attack, stroke, arterial occlusion or die within 90 days following the first examination, exhibit a higher PAPP-A concentration in their blood serum than patients without such events in the same period. In addition, it emerges that the type of underlying disease, the sex and do not have any influence on the concentration of the protein. The results of the study suggest that the PAPP-A concentration is a strong, independent biomarker for predicting the probability of a patient with heart complaints suffering from a secondary disease in the short-term. "The assessment of future risks for patients with cardiovascular disease is a key medical task. With the help of a blood test, the progression of a disease in cardiac patients could be predicted significantly better in the future, thus reducing the severe consequences", explains Dr. Stephan von Haehling.

Explore further: Blood protein able to detect higher risk of cardiovascular events

More information: von Haehling, S. et al. 2013. Value of serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein A for predicting cardiovascular events among patients presenting with cardiac chest pain, Canadian Medical Association Journal. doi:10.1503./cmaj.110647.

Related Stories

Blood protein able to detect higher risk of cardiovascular events

March 18, 2013
Higher levels of pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events in people with cardiac chest pain that developed as a result of heart disease/coronary artery ...

Research shows blood protein levels may predict risk of a cardiovascular event

April 8, 2011
Increased levels of a protein that helps regulate the body's blood pressure may also predict a major cardiovascular event in high-risk patients, according to a study led by St. Michael's Hospital's cardiovascular surgeon ...

Possible new blood test to diagnose heart attacks

September 20, 2011
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers are reporting a possible new blood test to help diagnose heart attacks.

Sexual activity is safe for most heart, stroke patients

January 19, 2012
If you have stable cardiovascular disease, it is more than likely that you can safely engage in sexual activity, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement.

New class of platelet blockers proves effective in phase III trial

March 26, 2012
Adding vorapaxar, an investigational platelet blocker, to standard antiplatelet therapy significantly reduces the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events in patients with known atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of ...

Recommended for you

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

Place of residence linked to heart failure risk

January 9, 2018
Location. Location. Location.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.