Blood protein levels may predict risk of heart disease

Updated: Apr 09, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: A new study led by an Indian-origin surgeon has found that increased levels of a protein that helps regulate the body`s blood pressure may also predict a major cardiovascular event in high-risk patients.

Measuring the amount of the protein, known as plasma renin activity (PRA), in the blood stream may give doctors another tool to assess a patient`s risk and help prevent a heart attack or stroke.

"Conventional factors like genetics and environment do not always provide a complete patient story and an understanding of cardiovascular risk," said Subodh Verma, cardiovascular surgeon at St. Michael`s Hospital.

"The plasma renin activity blood marker allows us to identify people at a higher risk and that gives us the opportunity to introduce therapies that would work to lower a patient`s PRA levels," he said.

His study was based on 2,913 Canadian HOPE (Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation) study patients, who had stable chronic vascular disease and/or diabetes and one cardiovascular risk factor.

The study is published in the March issue of European Heart Journal.