Hormone May Decrease Heart Attack Risk in Men
Men with high levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone pro- oduced and secreted by fat cells, are less likely to have a heart attack, according to a study published in the April 14, 2004, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (2004; 291 , 1730–7). Adeponectin is thought to prevent fats from accumulating in arteries and may also reduce inflammation; although fat cells produce the hormone, obese people have lower levels of it.
The study involved 18,225 men ages 40–75 who were free of diagnosed cardiovascular disease at the time blood was drawn. During the 6-year follow-up, 266 men had nonfatal heart attacks or died of heart disease. Participants with the highest levels of adiponectin were 40% less likely to have heart attacks than those with lower levels. Researchers concluded that the relationship could be only partly explained by differences in blood lipids and was independent of inflammation and glycemic status.
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