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Blood tests for phosphorus may identify heart disease

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Higher levels of phosphorus found in blood testing are believed to be linked to an elevated risk of heart disease, researchers say.

A study published in the December edition of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology examined the link between phosphorus levels and coronary artery calcification (CAC) in 900 American adults, HealthDay News reports. CAC is a condition which leads to a high risk of heart attack and stroke through a hardening of the arteries.

At the beginning of the analysis, 28 percent of participants were affected by CAC; after 6 years, the severity of the condition had increased in these patients, and an additional 33 percent had developed it.

Blood testing revealed a correlation between phosphorus levels in the body and CAC.

According to Dr Katherine Tuttle of the Providence Medical Research Center, "Even small increases in the blood level of phosphorus predicted an increased risk of progressive CAC in these apparently healthy adults." She added, "More research will be needed to see if treatments to lower phosphorus levels can reduce heart disease in people with CAC."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that heart disease contributed to 27 percent of all U.S. deaths in 2005.

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