Blood Protein Could Detect Cardiovascular Events
(Ivanhoe Newswire) --A pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) is usually used to screen for Down syndrome in pregnant women, but now new research suggests that it could also be used as a marker of unstable plaque in coronary arteries.
Researchers found that higher levels PAPP-A were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events in people with cardiac chest pain that developed as a result of heart disease or coronary artery disease.
The study involved 2,568 patients in Germany, who visited a hospital for cardiac chest pain between December 2007 and April 2009. The study aimed to determine if PAPP-A could help predict cardiovascular events. All participants had blood samples drawn and an echocardiogram for analysis.
More than half (52%) of the patients had stable angina and 48% had acute coronary syndrome. For women who are not pregnant and men the normal serum value is <14 mIU/L. Serum levels in patients who had cardiovascular events in the 3 months following initial hospital admission, like a heart attack, stroke, or death, were higher (62 ± 156 mIU/L) compared with those who did not (21 ± 23 mIU/L).
“PAPP-A remained a significant independent predictor of major cardiovascular events [as did] a history of diabetes mellitus and atrial fibrillation. PAPP-A remained the strongest predictor of major cardiovascular events when we restricted the analysis to patients with stable angina and when we restricted it to patients with acute coronary syndrome,” Dr. Stephan von Haehling, Department of Cardiology, Charité Medical School, Berlin, Germany, and colleagues, were quoted as saying.
SOURCE: CMAJ, March 2013