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New technique could aid in earlier diagnosis of heart disease

Study examines the role of a family of proteins called apolipoproteins to better predict the development of heart disease at an earlier stage.

By
Amy Wallace
Researchers have identified a group of apolipoproteins to use in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. Photo by ronstik/Shutterstock
Researchers have identified a group of apolipoproteins to use in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. Photo by ronstik/Shutterstock

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Researchers at King's College London are using apolipoproteins to diagnose cardiovascular disease at an earlier stage.

The team of scientists used a technology called mass spectrometry to measure an unprecedented number of apolipoprotein A1, or apoA1, in a population-based study.

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The main component of high-density lipoproteins, or HDL (good) cholesterol, is apoA1, and for low-density lipoproteins, or LDL (bad) cholesterol, it's apolipoprotein B, or apoB,

Researchers found that another group of apolipoproteins, apoE, apoC2 and apoC3, may indicate good and bad cholesterol.

The study found that these apolipoproteins are linked to very low-density lipoproteins, or VLDL, and another type of fat known as trigliycerides. ApoE, apoC2 and apoC3 have a stronger association with cardiovascular disease than apoA1 and apoB.

"We directly compared the association of a broad panel of apolipoproteins to new onset of cardiovascular disease over a 10-year observation period, and found that while apoB was predictive, other apolipoproteins, namely aopE, aopC2 and apoC3, were even better," Professor Manuel Mayr of King's College London and lead author of the study, said in a press release. "These unexpected strong associations of VLDL-associated apolipoproteins with cardiovascular disease provide support to expanding the current measurements of apolipoproteins and to the concept of targeting additional apolipoproteins to reduce risk."

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Results showed apoC3 as a main therapeutic target for lowering VLDL to reduce excess cardiovascular risk related to high VLDL.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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