Strong Immune System Reduces Heart Risk
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and most of us know the risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, high-fat diet, obesity, etc. But according to a recent study, a healthy immune system (indicated by high blood levels of certain antibodies) could reduce heart attack risk—even in the presence of one or more of these factors.
A number of studies have shown a link between the most common antibody—called IgG—and heart disease, with the antibody playing both a helpful as well as a harmful role. Results of this study, which involved more than 19,000 people with high blood pressure and at high risk for heart attack or stroke, were surprising to researchers. According to the study, the strongest link to a lower heart attack risk was a high level of IgG.
One goal of future research is to determine if this protective link exists for people with cardiovascular risk factors other than high blood pressure. Identifying and treating patients who have the highest risk could help reduce the number of deaths caused by heart disease.
Image Credit: Thinkstock