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Protein may predict heart problems

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3:46pm, November 18, 2003

From Orlando, Fla., at a meeting of the American Heart Association

Low blood concentrations of a small protein called adiponectin can signal high risk of heart disease, a study finds. Scientists suggest that the molecule might join the growing list of previously obscure compounds that might help doctors detect signs of potential cardiac troubles in otherwise healthy individuals.

Tobias Pischon and his colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston assessed adiponectin concentrations in blood samples taken in 1994 from 18,130 men who were free of heart disease. After 6 years, 266 of them had either suffered a nonfatal heart attack or died of heart disease.

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