MAR 18, 2021 6:09 PM PDT

Searching for New Cardiovascular Biomarkers

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

Do you want to know what the best medicine for cardiovascular health is? It isn't some heart-shaped pill with some magic formula of this and that's. No, it's early diagnosis and prevention!

Yeah, that may not sound as exciting as a magic pill, but it's a fact that most health problems are manageable when caught early. None more so than cardiovascular disease. The issue plaguing many doctors and researchers is how can we catch things like hypertension, atrial fibrillation, a heart attack, or outright heart failure before they start causing problems.

Early diagnostics for cardiovascular disease have improved tremendously over the years. The problem is that most of these improvements have allowed us to get a general read on cardiovascular disease over a wide swath of the population. They can give you a general idea of your risk, but a single patient may not get much meaningful information beyond "Hey, you should probably exercise more." In other words, what we need are specific and accurate tests that can tell you your risk of developing a certain cardiovascular problem.

Biomarkers are one way to try and reveal problems before they arise.  B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is one such biomarker that can be used to predict a patient's risk of developing cardiovascular problems. While others exist, there is still a lack of a robust test with the accuracy required for actual use. Seeing this issue, a team from the University of Otago in New Zealand ran a study searching for more biomarkers, bringing us closer to that testing goal.

The study looked to find free circulating biomarkers that corresponded to patients that had developed cardiovascular issues. Importantly, they made sure to find ones that were independent of a standard risk score, PREDICT-1, so they could find ones that could be included in future tests. The study used various techniques, including ELISA and mass spectrometry, and found three strong candidates; hemoglobin, fibrinogen, and fetuin A. Hemoglobin and fibrinogen seemed to correspond to more immediate risk, while fetuin-A may correspond to overall risk.

All three of the candidates found in this study have been looked at before, and this study gives even more credence to their use. Fibrinogen has a growing amount of evidence for its use as a biomarker, hemoglobin has been related to cardiovascular disease but not with its risk assessment, and fetuin is being looked at. Any new evidence towards a powerful diagnostic tool is helpful, and this study provided it.

The study concludes, "Using DIA-MS we have identified eight protein biomarkers that may be independently associated with near-future CVD events (< 3 years) in asymptomatic individuals of older age with a relatively low cardiovascular risk."

Sources: Nature Scientific Reports, MassGeneralHospital

About the Author
  • Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
You May Also Like
APR 01, 2021
Health & Medicine
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
APR 01, 2021
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
Drinking hot cocoa is comforting on cold winter nights, and new research from the University of Birmingham shows that it ...
MAY 03, 2021
Cardiology
Task Force IDs 7 Costly Medical Procedures With No Benefit
MAY 03, 2021
Task Force IDs 7 Costly Medical Procedures With No Benefit
Researchers have identified a surprising number of health screens that are given to patients who may not need them. Thes ...
MAY 24, 2021
Cardiology
Heart Organoids with a Contracting Chamber are Created
MAY 24, 2021
Heart Organoids with a Contracting Chamber are Created
Scientists that study human disease have long had to rely on animal models or cell culture platforms in which cells grew ...
AUG 04, 2021
Cardiology
Researchers Discover the Body's Blood Pressure Meters
AUG 04, 2021
Researchers Discover the Body's Blood Pressure Meters
For decades, researchers have sought to find the natural barometers that sense changes in blood pressure in the body so ...
AUG 17, 2021
Health & Medicine
Heart Attack and Stroke Related to COVID19- The Importance of Prevention
AUG 17, 2021
Heart Attack and Stroke Related to COVID19- The Importance of Prevention
The historic scientific breakthrough of vaccination has prevented lifelong disability from Polio, scarring from Mea ...
SEP 07, 2021
Health & Medicine
Vaccines- a Long History of Cost-Benefit Analysis
SEP 07, 2021
Vaccines- a Long History of Cost-Benefit Analysis
Vaccination and new treatments for diseases have remained topics of skepticism since their inception. When it came to an ...
Loading Comments...