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The following is a review of diagnostics related medical research worldwide

The information is updated the first week of every month - so ... make this a regular stop in your information gathering activities.

The following information has been compiled from publicly available sources, StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.

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Research News for December 2003

Researchers at Columbia University, New York have measured the blood calcium levels and the maximal carotid artery plaque thickness of 1,350 adults enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study. The average patient had 9.0 mg/dL of calcium and an average plaque thickness of 0.95 mm. The researchers found each unit increase in calcium was associated with a 0.13 mm increase in plaque thickness after controlling for age, sex, race, blood pressure, cardiac disease, creatinine levels, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and education. They conclude that balanced calcium metabolism may be a novel therapeutic target for stroke prevention.

Scientists at Malmo University Hospital, Sweden, have identified inflammation-sensitive plasma proteins (ISPs) appear to be linked to heart attacks in men who do not have established risk factors for heart disease. These proteins are markers for low grade inflammation. Over 18 years of follow-up, 227 heart attacks were recorded. In both risk groups, the chances of heart attack rose as the number of ISPs at high levels increased. However, these increased risks were only apparent after at least 10 years of follow-up.
Source: Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, December 2003.

Researchers at the department of rheumatology at Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands have developed a blood test for the presence of antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides (CCP), which are considered to be predictive of rheumatoid arthritis. Citrullin is an unusual, non-standard amino acid. Only patients with rheumatoid arthritis develop antibodies against citrullin.

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