Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Relationship Between Heart Disease and Inflammation

The topic I researched a few weeks ago considers the relationship between heart disease and inflammation. It was mentioned in lecture that while the buildup of plaque and fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis) is quite significant in the occurrence of heart disease, inflammation may act as the "lethal factor" that results in the complete blocking of the arteries in question. In my research, I came upon an two articles that considered the abundance of several different proteins (C reactive protein, serum amyloid A protein,serum albumin, ect.) and their relationship to the probability of heart disease. These proteins are indicative of inflammatory response, and their levels tend to remain constant at some level unless inflammation occurs and leads to a spike in their concentrations. The papers study the resting level of the proteins, checking to see if a higher average protein level correlates to an increased probability of heart disease. This was indeed the case. The findings "suggest that some inflammatory processes [...] are likely to be involved in coronary heart disease" (Danish 2000).

The papers can be found here, and here.

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