Blood Test Predicts Heart Disease

Measures protein that raises risk

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MONDAY, July 21, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- The Food and Drug Administration has cleared for marketing a blood test that can help doctors predict a person's risk of getting coronary heart disease (CHD).

The test, called PLAC, will not stand alone in predicting CHD, but it will be used in conjunction with clinical tests and other risk factors for the disease, according to an FDA statement.

About 7 million Americans suffer from CHD, the most common form of heart disease. It kills 500,000 people each year in the United States, or about one in five people, according to the test's maker, diaDexus Inc. of San Francisco.

PLAC measures an enzyme called lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 in human blood. This enzyme has been identified as a risk factor for coronary events.

The FDA approved the test based on a study of more than 1,340 patients sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Here is the FDA Talk Paper about the approval. For more information about CHD, visit the Mayo Clinic.

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