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Blood test 'could measure smokers' heart risk'

Tuesday 25th October 2011
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A blood test could be used to measure a smoker's danger of heart disease, researchers have found.

Levels of a lung protein found in the blood of smokers could indicate their risk of dangerous plaque build-up in blood vessels, according to a study published in journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Researchers were able to determine the amount of circulating pulmonary surfactant B (SP-B), a protein which is found in damaged lung cells, in the study.

It was found that smokers who had higher levels of SP-B also had more build-up of dangerous plaque in the aorta.

"We now are close to having a blood test to help measure the smoking-related effects that contribute to atherosclerotic heart disease," said Dr Anand Rohatgi, co-lead author of the study.

"Smoking is one of the biggest contributors to the development of heart disease."

In other news, a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology has found that increasing the levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cuts the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Written by James Puckle
 ADNFCR-1780-ID-800775875-ADNFCR

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