Boosting levels of a key growth factor may help prevent cardiovascular disease

19 octubre 2015

New research indicates that low levels of a growth factor called stem cell factor (SCF)—which is thought to be important for blood vessel repair—are linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In a study of 384 patients with a first coronary event and 409 event-free individuals, SCF measurements had a predictive value that was in the same range as that of established cardiovascular risk factors such as LDL and HDL cholesterol. Moreover, smokers and diabetics had reduced levels of SCF in the circulation, and low blood levels of the growth factor were associated with more severe disease among patients with atherosclerosis.