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The search for new cardiovascular biomarkers


Despite considerable advances in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, it remains the leading cause of death in developed countries. Assessment of classic cardiovascular risk factors — including high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking — has a central role in disease prevention. However, many individuals with coronary heart disease (a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart) have only one, or none, of the classic risk factors. Thus, new biomarkers are needed to augment the information obtained from traditional indicators and to illuminate disease mechanisms.

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Figure 1: Receiver-operating-characteristic curves for the prediction of cardiovascular events.
Figure 2: The conceptual relationship of the genome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome.


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The authors are grateful for support from the National Institutes of Health (to R.E.G. and T.J.W.), the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation (to R.E.G.), the Fondation Leducq (to R.E.G.) and the American Heart Association (to T.J.W.).

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence should be addressed to R.E.G. (

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Gerszten, R., Wang, T. The search for new cardiovascular biomarkers. Nature 451, 949–952 (2008).

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