Myeloperoxidase levels shown to predict future cardiovascular risk in healthy individuals. July 11, 2007
July 11, 2007 By Benjamin A. Olenchock, M.D. Ph.D. 
Amsterdam In yet another study linking cardiovascular disease with inflammation, research to be published in the July 10th issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology demonstrates that elevated serum myeloperoxidase (MPO) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in healthy individuals. Myeloperoxidase is one of a number of circulating inflammatory markers that have been correlated with CVD risk – a list which includes notables such as c-reactive protein (CRP) and soluble CD40 ligand.
This study was a nested, case-control study (n = 3375) from within the EPIC-Norfolk population. Cases were defined as those who developed new onset fatal or non-fatal coronary artery disease during the average 8-year follow-up period. Two controls were matched with each case based on gender, age (within 5 years), and date of visit.
As expected, cardiocascular risk factors including diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia were more common among cases than controls. Additionally, MPO levels were higher in cases than in controls (704 vs. 638 pmol/l, p<0.001). The highest MPO quartiles correlated with increased white blood cell count, high CRP, current smoking, male sex, and low HDL and total cholesterol. Even after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors, MPO levels in the highest quartile (>951 pmol/l) were associated with an increased cardiovascular risk (OR 1.36 [1.07-1.73], p<0.001)
A handful of studies have identified MPO as a promising biomarker for risk assessment in acute coronary syndromes. This study appears to extend the utility of this marker into the primary prevention arena. While exciting, inflammatory biomarkers have proven difficult to move from the research setting to the clinics, often running into problems with reproducibility and clinical utility. More research will be needed to verify this exciting result in a prospective analysis.
The study was funded by the Medical Research Council UK and Cancer Research UK.
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