Skip to comments.Atherosclerotic plaques formed during a late and limited time period in life
Posted on 04/08/2011 1:10:22 PM PDT by decimon
In a new study performed in humans, researchers from Karolinska Institutet have determined the age of atherosclerotic plaques by taking advantage of Carbon-14 (14C) residues in the atmosphere, prevailing after the extensive atomic bomb tests in the 50ties and 60ties. The findings, published in the scientific online journal PLoS ONE, suggest that in most people plaque formation occurs during a relatively short and late time period in life of 3-5 years.
"We suspected that the plaque would be substantially younger than the patients, who were on average were 68 years old at surgery, but we were surprised when we found that the average age of these plaques was less than 10 years", says Associate Professor Johan Björkegren, who lead the study at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
The age of plaques was also found to be associated to blood levels of insulin, and plaques with lower age (formed more recently) were found to be more unstable than older plaques and therefore more likely to cause clinical complications.
"The correlation between low plaque age, higher insulin levels and instability is also consistent with our findings of gene activity where younger plaques were characterized with higher activity of genes related to immune responses and oxidative phosphorylation", says Dr Björkegren. "However, our study is small and need to be replicated in future, larger clinical studies before we can determine the exact roles of biological age for plaque stability and associated clinical events."
(Excerpt) Read more at ki.se ...
It’s been suggested that bacterial infection can cause the rapid buildup of plaque:
PA Engineer, this presser links the complete article. I just read the abstract so far. According to my pathology teacher in med school, they found "fatty streaks" in in various major arteries while performing autopsies of fairly young American killed in action during the Korean War. These "fatty streaks" were thought to be precursors of atherosclerotic arterial disease, in particular, coronary artery disease. Maybe we'll live long enough to find out.
IIRC, they eventually found crystals of cholesterol in atherosclerotic plaque as well as macrophages, cells of the innate immune system.
This is a combined ping of the diabetes and immunology lists. FReepmail if you want on or off either list.
I haven’t been able to locate it, but there was a recent study that showed an increase in plaques in some individuals but no difference in the incidence of heart attacks between those people and the ones without the plaques. Scientists get hooked on these markers, and sometimes they turn out to be a red herring.
I still say there is more that they don’t know, than what they do about diabetes.
What's a "heart attack"? A myocardial infarction, a congenital cardiomyopathy, inheredited arrythmias, sudden cardiac death, etc., without autopsies, it's just speculation. Getting an autopsy done isn't easy.
“Getting an autopsy done isn’t easy.”
Yes, and they look painful, too! ;-)
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