One of my clients was at the doctor last week for a check-up.
He has been stressed out a lot lately and experiencing some headaches.
The doctor checked him out and found that his blood pressure was running higher than normal.
As a result, she sent him on his way with a requisition for a bunch of blood tests.
Pretty standard stuff:
- etc, etc, etc…
At this point, the doctor thinks that the blood pressure is caused by his stress levels, but she just wants to keep on top of things.
But what if things aren’t okay?
Will these tests alert the doctor in time?
Maybe they should be checking his levels of Resistin.
Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have found that blood levels of resistin, a hormone produced by fat cells, can independently predict an individual’s risk of heart failure.
“This is one of the strongest predictors of new-onset heart failure we’ve been able to find, and it holds up even when you control for other biomarkers and risk factors including high blood pressure and diabetes,” says Javed Butler, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine and director of heart failure research at Emory University School of Medicine.
“Recent laboratory studies have also shown that resistin decreases the ability of rats’ heart muscles to contract,” she adds.
That doesn’t sound good.
In the Health ABC study, the risk of new onset heart failure increased by 38 percent for every 10 nanograms per milliliter increase in resistin levels in blood.
Resistin was a stronger predictor of heart failure risk than other inflammatory markers linked to heart disease, such as C-reactive protein.
“Considering the increasing number of people who are obese or have diabetes, very many of them are going to be at some level of risk for heart failure later in life.
The value of a marker such as resistin may be in accurately identifying among this large population of at-risk individuals who is at the highest risk and then targeting interventions to those people.”
Now, I am sure that my client is going to be okay.
But we are not taking any chances. No matter what the blood tests tell us, he has decided to treat this as a wake up call.
In addition to his healthy eating and thorough fitness program, he is making some lifestyle changes and is about to start a mindfulness meditation program to address his rising levels of stress.
Better safe than sorry.
Too bad he can’t get his resistin levels checked.
Oh well, that’s socialized Canadian medicine for you.
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