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Blood Test Could Identify Smokers at Higher Risk for Heart Disease, UT Southwestern Medical Center Researchers Find


10/25/2011 7:53:30 AM

A simple blood test could someday quantify a smoker's lung toxicity and danger of heart disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. Nearly one in five adults in the U.S. smoke, and smoking-related medical expenses and loss of productivity exceeds $167 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Levels of a lung protein found in the blood of smokers could indicate their risk of dangerous plaque buildup in blood vessels, said Dr. Anand Rohatgi, assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and co-lead author of the study available in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, a publication of the American Heart Association.

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