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Queens’s scientists reassess heart disease causes

Almost 3,000 Northern Ireland people are to take part in a Queen’s study analysing their risks of developing heart disease in the future.

The study is part of a survey of blood protein levels in 140,000 people across Europe. Queen’s Department of Epidemology scientists are working alongside scientists from Mainz, in Germany and Helsinki, Finland.

Professor Alun Evans from Queen’s Department of Epidemiology said: “Coronary heart disease has been declining as a cause of death in Northern Ireland for the past 25 years but still remains an enormous public health problem. Some of the markers we are studying appear good at predicting future heart failure.”

Each person involved in the study will have their cholesterol, body mass index and blood pressure measured. Factors such as whether they smoke or not will also be taken into account.

Looking forward to this latest research project for which Queen’s scientists received a £500,000 grant Professor Evans added: “The aim of this project is to derive a best set of markers which can predict individuals who are at increased risk of developing disease in the future. In this way prevention strategies can be applied.

“Protein markers, measured on healthy individuals will be analysed in relation to those who subsequently develop cardiovascular disease and compared.

“New technology allows many analyses to be carried out simultaneously on tiny amounts of the sample.

Lisa Mitchell | alfa
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