Heads Up: February 28, 2008

The Strategies Editorial Advisory Board recommends the following recent papers:

Vitamin D Deficiency and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with incident cardiovascular disease, according to a paper in Circulation. In a longitudinal study of more than 1,700 Framingham Offspring Study participants, researchers found a relationship between reduced vitamin D levels and cardiovascular disease. The scientists call for further study to determine if correcting the deficiency will help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Usefulness of Increased Skin Cholesterol to Identify Individuals at Increased Cardiovascular Risk
Skin cholesterol may be a useful test for cardiovascular risk prediction, according to research in the American Journal of Cardiology. A multicenter team of scientists found a consistent association among increasing skin cholesterol, increasing carotid intima-media thickness, and carotid plaque presence across all levels of cardiovascular risk in 565 asymptomatic individuals from six North American sites. The association was independent of cardiovascular risk factors.

β2-Microglobulin for Risk Stratification of Total Mortality in the Elderly Population
New research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that serum β2-microglobulin is an independent predictor of total mortality in a general population of older adults and may be a better predictor than cystatin C or CRP. Japanese and U.S. researchers correlated baseline serum levels of these biomarkers with mortality among 1,034 participants of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Longitudinal Interdisciplinary Study on Aging. During the 8-year follow-up, 223 people died, and the scientists observed a strong relationship between baseline serum levels of serum β2-microglobulin and mortality. Because of the strong association with mortality, the researchers call for investigations that examine potential mechanisms.

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