"Although a number of medications are known to reduce the incidence of stroke, national screening guidelines for cholesterol are based only on the risk for developing heart disease and do not include stroke," said Christie Ballantyne, MD, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and lead author of the study. "The lack of association between lipid levels and future ischemic stroke has made identifying patients at risk for stroke a challenge to the medical community. Our findings suggest that a panel of Lp-PLA2 and CRP may help identify those high risk individuals, so that proactive measures can be taken to lower those risks and avoid a stroke."
The NHLBI's Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study followed 12,762 apparently healthy bi-racial middle-aged men and women for six to eight years to evaluate incidence of major cardiovascular events. The case-cohort analysis, evaluating the relationship of Lp-PLA2 and CRP levels to ischemic stroke, was coordinated by Dr. Ballantyne at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and also involved researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, The National Institutes of Health and University of Texas.
Lp-PLA2 levels were assessed using the diaDexus PLAC test, the first blood test approved by the FDA to aid in predicting ischemic stroke associated wit