Research shows new cause of artery hardening

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Heart disease is a big problem. It’s like a silent enemy that keeps causing trouble despite all the efforts to fight it. Doctors have been trying really hard to keep it under control by managing things like diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

They use medicines like aspirin and statins, which are like special tools to keep your heart healthy. But heart disease is still the top reason why many people in the United States lose their lives, and heart attacks happen even when people do everything right.

However, scientists at the University of Michigan have made an exciting discovery. They found a protein that could be causing two big health issues: atherosclerosis and kidney disease.

Atherosclerosis is when your arteries, the tubes that carry blood in your body, get hard and narrow. This can affect more than a billion people all over the world.

This protein is called soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor, or suPAR for short.

Think of it like a thermostat for your immune system, which helps your body fight off sickness. It’s made in your bone marrow, the place inside your bones that makes blood cells.

In the past, doctors knew that suPAR was a sign of heart disease. But this new study shows that it’s not just a sign; it’s actually causing the problem when there’s too much of it.

The scientists looked at over 5,000 people who didn’t have heart disease yet. They found that those with higher levels of suPAR were more likely to develop atherosclerosis and have heart problems.

Then, they did another study with 24,000 people. They were looking for special differences in their genes that might affect how much suPAR they have.

They found a specific change in a gene that makes suPAR, and people with this change had higher suPAR levels.

This was really important because they also found that this gene change was linked to atherosclerosis in a huge study of 500,000 people from the UK Biobank. And this finding was confirmed in two other big studies.

The evidence was really strong. High levels of suPAR seemed to be causing atherosclerosis. The researchers even saw this in mice.

Mice with high suPAR had more atherosclerotic plaques in their aortas, the main artery in the body, compared to normal mice.

What’s special about this study is that it used a mix of clinical data from real patients, genetic data, and experiments with mice. All of these pointed to suPAR being the bad guy in atherosclerotic disease.

Now, the scientists are working on finding ways to lower suPAR levels safely. This could be a new way to prevent and treat heart disease, especially since the usual treatments don’t affect suPAR.

This discovery is even more important because suPAR is also involved in kidney disease, which affects 1 in 7 Americans. Often, people with kidney disease also have heart problems, and many with heart disease show signs of kidney issues.

So, if you’re interested in keeping your heart healthy, it’s good to know about different treatments for heart failure and how everyday devices might affect your heart.

Also, it’s interesting to learn about things that can cause heart rhythm problems and how having a dog can be good for your heart.

The study, led by Salim Hayek and his team, was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. It’s like opening a new chapter in understanding and fighting heart disease.

If you care about heart disease, please read studies that herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm, and how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies that apple juice could benefit your heart health, and results showing yogurt may help lower the death risks in heart disease.

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