A protein known as a key indicator of inflammation in the body
and thought to cause heart disease isn't linked to the development of
the fatal ailment, according to a British study published Tuesday.
C-reactive protein (CRP), a target for studies of treatment for
coronary heart disease, isn't in fact directly involved in causing
it, as once thought, said the research published in the Journal of
the American Medical Association.
"Some researchers thought C-reactive protein would be a good
molecule to target, as raised levels of this protein in the blood
are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease,"
noted lead author Paul Elliott, a professor at Imperial College,
"However our research suggests that the association may not be
causal, so attempts to target this protein to reduce the risk of
the disease are unlikely to be fruitful."
New genetic variations
The study however did discover new genetic variations associated
with coronary heart disease, Elliott added. "If confirmed in other
studies, these might give clues to identify new targets to treat
the disease," he said.
Research teams involving Imperial College scientists and 12
other universities and institutes in Europe and North America
examined a total of 28 112 people with the disease and 100 823
people without the disease.
They reached their conclusion by comparing the genetic
variations that play a role in the level of CRP with the prevalence
of coronary heart disease in those that they studied.
(Sapa, July 2009)
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