New study finds people who have high levels of two markers at high risk of adverse heart events

March 17, 2017, Intermountain Medical Center
New research suggests that GlycA, a newly identified blood marker, and C-reactive protein both independently predict major adverse cardiac events, including heart failure and death. Patients who have high levels of both biomarkers are at especially high risk. Credit: Intermountain Medical Center

New research suggests that GlycA, a newly identified blood marker, and C-reactive protein both independently predict major adverse cardiac events, including heart failure and death. Patients who have high levels of both biomarkers are at especially high risk.

That's the finding of researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, who teamed with LipoScience Laboratories to examine the markers to see if the two proteins, each previously linked to inflammation, are independent or related and whether either or both can identify patients at elevated risk for cardiovascular events.

Findings from the study will be presented at the American College of Cardiologists Scientific Session in Washington, DC, on March 17.

The research grew out of an earlier analysis that paired plasma samples collected as part of the Intermountain Heart Collaborative Study with an assay developed by LipoScience that uses technology to measure, among other things, the particle numbers in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often called "bad" cholesterol. While scanning the plasma samples with the nuclear , LipoScience had detected the GlycA and determined it to be a novel marker of inflammation.

Early research by the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute team showed that GlycA can predict ; inflammation makes it more likely cholesterol plaques will rupture.

GlycA didn't predict coronary artery disease nearly as well, said J. Brent Muhlestein, MD, co-director of cardiology research at Intermountain Medical Center and the study's lead author.

C-reactive protein has already been shown to accurately predict adverse events and coronary artery disease, so the researchers wondered if the two are independent of each other, or if GLycA just offers another way to measure the effects of CRP.

Using the same —part of more than 30,000 DNA samples collected over the course of 25 years at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute— the researchers compared the value of both GlycA and CRP in predicting future heart attacks, strokes, or death.

For the study, nearly 3,000 patients undergoing coronary angiography were followed, two-thirds of them male. Sixty-five percent of them had been diagnosed with , 42 percent with , and 26 percent with diabetes.

"The correlation between GlycA and CRP was only modest," said Dr. Muhlestein. "Some patients had a high level of one and a low level of the other and vice versa. But the two proteins independently predicted future risk, and if you had both, it was the worst scenario completely. It tells us that GlycA is perhaps something important."

How important will be the focus of future research. Dr. Muhlestein said his research team would like to identify exactly what GlycA is, what it does, and the underlying physiology of its connection to inflammation.

The researchers hope to learn if it can be used as a marker of risk that leads to specific treatments, such as use of statins, which are commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol.

Explore further: Elevated levels of inflammation marker offsets benefits of good cholesterol

Related Stories

Elevated levels of inflammation marker offsets benefits of good cholesterol

April 3, 2016
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, ...

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 ...

Study finds testosterone supplementation reduces heart attack risk in men with heart disease

April 3, 2016
A new multi-year study from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City shows that testosterone therapy helped elderly men with low testosterone levels and pre-existing coronary artery disease reduce ...

Levels of ceramides in the blood help predict cardiovascular events

March 9, 2017
Measuring concentrations of a class of lipids known as ceramides in the blood may hold the key to helping clinicians identify individuals with suspected coronary heart disease who need treatment or should be followed more ...

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 ...

Waist circumference is stronger predictor of heart disease than BMI

April 3, 2016
A new study from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City and John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore lends more evidence to the idea that it's better to be shaped like a pear—with weight around the ...

Recommended for you

A wearable device intervention to increase exercise in peripheral artery disease

April 24, 2018
A home-based exercise program, consisting of wearable devices and telephone coaching, did not improve walking ability for patients with peripheral artery disease, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Heart disease may only be a matter of time for those with healthy obesity

April 24, 2018
People who are 30 pounds or more overweight may want to slim down a bit even if they don't have high blood pressure or any other heart disease risk, according to scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Women at greater risk of stress-induced ischemia after heart attacks

April 24, 2018
Women who've previously experienced a heart attack have twice the risk of later myocardial ischemia provoked by mental stress when compared to men with a similar history, according to a study published in Circulation.

Electric cars don't jolt implanted heart devices: study

April 24, 2018
(HealthDay)—People who have implanted devices to keep their hearts running smoothly can safely drive an electric car if they wish to do so, new research confirms.

Hippo pathway found essential to orchestrate the development of the heart

April 23, 2018
Using a technology that provides a 'high-resolution view' of the status of individual cells, a team of researchers has gained new insights into the embryonic development of the mouse heart. They discovered that during development, ...

Compound improves stroke outcome by reducing lingering inflammation

April 20, 2018
An experimental compound appears to improve stroke outcome by reducing the destructive inflammation that can continue months after a stroke, scientists report.

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.