A new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge has revealed the existence of a link between coronary heart disease and levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6).
IL-6 is a protein that triggers the cascade of immune cells to the injury site and is produced wherever there is inflammation.
Lead researcher John Danesh and colleagues also suggest that IL-6 could be a target for the development of drugs to fight vascular disease.
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst adults in the developed world.
The study is discussed in a perspective by Bruce Neal, at the George Institute for International Health in Sydney, Australia and has no connection with the research.
The research is published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.