Simple test may help predict heart
disease in post-menopausal women
Dr. Karen L Margolis, Hennepin County Medical Center,
Minneapolis, found evidence that supports a role for inflammation in
the development of atherosclerosis, thickening and the hardening of
the arteries from a study of 72,242 post-menopausal women aged
50 to 79 years involved [1].
Dr. Karen L Margolis and her co-worker measured white blood cell
counts at the beginning of the study and divided women into four
quartiles, with the first quartile representing women with the lowest
level of white blood cells (WBC) and the fourth quartile, women with
the highest level. They analyzed only participants who were entirely
free of clinical CVD and cancer at the beginning of the study.

They found that Women in the fourth quartile (highest WBC) had a
doubled risk for coronary heart disease death compared with
women in the first quartile (lowest WBC), In addition, women in the
highest white blood cell count group "had a 40 percent higher risk
for nonfatal myocardial infarction (heart attack) a 46 percent higher
risk for stroke." the study added.

On the other hand, Kazmierski R et al, University of Medical
Sciences, Poland, found that an increased WBC count within the
first 12 h of onset of an ischemic stroke is a strong prognostic factor
for in-hospital mortality [2].
                                    
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References

1. CARLA K. JOHNSON, Simple test may help predict heart
disease, Associated Press, Mar. 15, 2005

2. Kazmierski R et al, Predictive value of white blood cell count on
admission for in-hospital mortality in acute stroke patients, Clin
Neurol Neurosurg. 2004 Dec;107(1):38-43.
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