Epidemiologists belonging to the Tulane University have come to the conclusion that there is an association between future heart problems and the hardening of the arteries in the legs which are connected with the biological markers of inflammation. A test that is relatively inexpensive has been suggested by the researchers for testing of inflammations.
Inflammation occurs when the body responds in an effort to repair damaged tissue, including the scarring and hardening of arteries over time.
'Our data show that a high leukocyte (an inflammation marker) count was moderately predictive of peripheral arterial disease,' said lead author Rachel Wildman, Assistant Professor of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Leukocytes are commonly known as white blood cells.
'Leukocyte count can be assessed using an inexpensive routine test. Our data call for future research to examine whether this test may be good enough for screening purposes, she added'.
Results from the study show that adults with the highest levels of inflammation markers were twice as likely to have peripheral arterial disease than those with low levels of inflammation. Inflammation was most strongly associated with PAD in non-Hispanic blacks, current smokers and middle-aged patients.