The risk of developing cardiovascular disease is strongly associated with the “bad” LDL cholesterol. A large study by scientists at Karolinska Institutet now shows that two proteins that transport cholesterol particles in the blood provide early and reliable risk information.

The researchers now advocate introducing new guidelines for detecting cardiac risk and say the results may pave the way for early treatment, which could help lower morbidity and fatality rates.

Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death globally and includes a wide range of conditions, such as stroke and myocardial infarction with atherosclerosis in different organs of the body.

In many cases the disease can be prevented and arrested with lifestyle changes and lipid-lowering treatments using statins and other methods.

The data generally used to assess elevated cardiac risk are reference values for the “bad” LDL cholesterol. In some medical conditions, other types of fat particles are also measured along with apolipoproteins, which transport cholesterol in the blood.

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