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Progress and challenges in translating the biology of atherosclerosis

Nature volume 473, pages 317325 (19 May 2011) | Download Citation

Abstract

Atherosclerosis is a chronic disease of the arterial wall, and a leading cause of death and loss of productive life years worldwide. Research into the disease has led to many compelling hypotheses about the pathophysiology of atherosclerotic lesion formation and of complications such as myocardial infarction and stroke. Yet, despite these advances, we still lack definitive evidence to show that processes such as lipoprotein oxidation, inflammation and immunity have a crucial involvement in human atherosclerosis. Experimental atherosclerosis in animals furnishes an important research tool, but extrapolation to humans requires care. Understanding how to combine experimental and clinical science will provide further insight into atherosclerosis and could lead to new clinical applications.

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Acknowledgements

We thank S. Karwacki for editorial assistance.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    • Peter Libby
    •  & Paul M Ridker
  2. Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    • Paul M Ridker
  3. Department of Medicine and Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm SE-17176, Sweden.

    • Göran K. Hansson

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Competing interests

P.M.R. is a co-inventor on patents held by Brigham and Women's Hospital relating to the use of inflammatory biomarkers in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, that have been licensed to Siemens and AstraZeneca. G.K.H. is a co-inventor on patents relating to immunotherapy against atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Peter Libby.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10146

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