Brand New Way to Predict Heart Disease

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

The best health advice is to prevent serious health problems. And if prevention is no longer an option, to discover them as early as possible. A new study has discovered a new way that doctors can determine your risk of heart disease, the world's No. 1 killer. The name of this health breakthrough is "surfactant protein-D," or SP-D for short. We might be hearing more of it in the near future.The best health advice is to prevent serious health problems. And if prevention is no longer an option, to discover them as early as possible. A new study has discovered a new way that doctors can determine your risk of heart disease, the world’s No. 1 killer. The name of this health breakthrough is “surfactant protein-D,” or SP-D for short. We might be hearing more of it in the near future.

A large study has deemed SP-D, a blood protein, to be “a good predictor” of cardiovascular disease. Researchers say that circulating SP-D levels were clearly associated with heart disease and total mortality in patients who had coronary artery disease.

In the lungs, SP-D is part of the body’s defensive response to substances inhaled each day. Levels of SP-D rise when the lungs are inflamed and not working well (e.g. catching a cold or the flu) and also in those who smoke or develop a chronic lung condition.

In healthy people with normal lung function, blood levels of SP-D are low, but when lung function is impaired (as with infections, smoking or COPD), SP-D leaks from the lungs into the blood and then into the circulation, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

To determine if SP-D is linked to heart disease and death, the researchers studied it in people with suspected coronary artery disease and in a group of ex- and current smokers with mild airflow restriction.

In the first group, those who died (30%) had significantly higher SP-D levels than those who survived. Those with the highest SP-D levels had an over 400% higher risk of death by heart disease than those with the lowest levels.

In the group of current and ex-smokers, again, SP-D levels were higher in those who died or were hospitalized for heart disease. The researchers say there is a “strong” link between SP-D levels and heart disease. They can’t be sure if the SP-D levels contribute to heart problems, but they can be sure that they at least indicate potentially serious heart issues.

In the fight against heart disease, any help is good help.

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