Elevated levels of inflammation marker offsets benefits of good cholesterol

April 3, 2016
Cholesterol test

People with high levels of "good" cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, are not as safe from heart disease when high levels of a newly identified biomarker of inflammation in the arteries are also found in their bloodstream, according to a new study.

In the study of nearly 3,000 patients, researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City discovered that the presence of high levels of the biomarker glycoprotein acetylation, or GlycA, was associated with an increased risk of or stroke.

Inflammation of the artery walls is a contributing factor to heart attack and stroke because it increases the likelihood that plaque on the arterial walls will rupture, induce clot formation and block blood flow.

"We already know that HDL provides an anti-inflammatory effect on the arteries," said Brent Muhlestein, MD, co-director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. "But our research suggests there's an interaction between GlycA and small HDL particles that reduces the anti-inflammatory capabilities of HDL and increases a person's chances of having a heart attack or stroke."

Results of the study will be presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in Chicago on Saturday, April 2, at 2:45 p.m., CDT.

Using a test developed by LipoScience known as NMR spectroscopy, researchers measured lipoprotein particles and GlycA in 2,848 patients whose average age was 63 years old. Sixty-six percent of the patients were male and 65 percent had .

"The results of our study reinforce the importance of the recommendations we offer to our patients working to reduce in their arteries by exercising regularly and eating heart-healthy foods," said Dr. Muhlestein. "Some ways of increasing the HDL levels that will provide the anti-inflammatory protection include eating foods higher in Omega 3s and following the Mediterranean diet, which revolves around plant-based foods, healthy fats, and limited amounts of salt and red meat."

Historically, C-reactive protein has been used as an indicator of inflammation in the body, and is predictive of future heart-related adverse events. Now, GlycA, a marker of inflammation identified through NMR, appears to show the same predictive ability.

However, researchers are currently seeking to determine if C-reactive protein and GlycA are completely independent of each other in terms of their impact on inflammation and .

"GlycA is a new particle we didn't know much about, but now that we know there are epidemiologic associations, we need to look at additional ways to evaluate and understand the way it functions and interacts in the bloodstream," said Dr. Muhlestein.

Explore further: Researchers identify new protein markers that may improve understanding of heart disease

Related Stories

Researchers identify new protein markers that may improve understanding of heart disease

March 30, 2014
Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, have discovered that elevated levels of two recently identified proteins in the body are inflammatory markers and indicators of the presence ...

A biomarker for premature death

October 22, 2015
A single blood test could reveal whether an otherwise healthy person is unusually likely to die of pneumonia or sepsis within the next 14 years. Based on an analysis of 10,000 individuals, researchers have identified a molecular ...

Low levels of two components of vitamin D can help predict risk of heart attack

April 3, 2016
Low levels of total vitamin D and bioavailable vitamin D can help predict a person's risk of major adverse cardiovascular events such as a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or death, according to a first-of-its-kind study ...

Researchers find link between specific vitamin D levels and heart problems

November 9, 2015
A lack of vitamin D can result in weak bones. Recent studies also show that vitamin D deficiency is linked to more serious health risks such as coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Poor air quality increases patients' risk of heart attack, new study finds

November 8, 2015
People with heart disease face an increased risk of a serious heart attack during poor air quality days, according to a major new study presented today at the American Heart Association Scientific Session in Orlando.

Signs of stress in the brain may signal future heart trouble

March 24, 2016
New research shows that individuals with a greater degree of activity in the stress center of the brain also have more evidence of inflammation in their arteries and were at higher risk for cardiovascular events, including ...

Recommended for you

Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?

November 17, 2017
The buildup of plaque in the heart's arteries is an unfortunate part of aging. But by studying the genetic makeup of people who maintain clear arteries into old age, researchers led by UNC's Jonathan Schisler, PhD, have identified ...

Raising 'good' cholesterol fails to protect against heart disease

November 16, 2017
Raising so-called 'good' cholesterol by blocking a key protein involved in its metabolism does not protect against heart disease or stroke, according to a large genetic study of 150,000 Chinese adults published in the journal ...

New model estimates odds of events that trigger sudden cardiac death

November 16, 2017
A new computational model of heart tissue allows researchers to estimate the probability of rare heartbeat irregularities that can cause sudden cardiac death. The model, developed by Mark Walker and colleagues from Johns ...

Popular e-cigarette liquid flavorings may change, damage heart muscle cells

November 16, 2017
Chemicals used to make some popular e-cigarette liquid flavorings—including cinnamon, clove, citrus and floral—may cause changes or damage to heart muscle cells, new research indicates.

Possible use for botulinum toxin to treat atrial fibrillation

November 16, 2017
From temporarily softening wrinkles to easing migraines, botulinum toxin has become a versatile medical remedy because of its ability to block nerve signals that can become bothersome or risky.

Proteome of the human heart mapped for the first time

November 15, 2017
A healthy heart beats about two billion times during a lifetime, thanks to the interplay of more than 10,000 proteins. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) and the German Heart Centre at the Technical ...

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.