Bilirubin May Predict Cardiac Risk in Metabolic Syndrome

(HealthDay News) — Low serum total bilirubin levels may improve risk prediction of coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with metabolic syndrome, according to research published in the December 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Young Shin Song, MD, of Seoul National University in South Korea, and colleagues examined CAD events over four years according to baseline serum bilirubin levels in a prospective cohort of 8,593 Korean community members.

The researchers found that 0.9% of the cohort developed CAD events during follow-up. The lowest serum total bilirubin level (≤0.32mg/dL) was independently associated with higher risk of future CAD events (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.890; P=0.024). Compared with individuals without metabolic syndrome, those with metabolic syndrome were more likely to have future CAD events (HR, 3.366; P<0.001). Individuals with metabolic syndrome who had low bilirubin levels were six times more likely to have CAD events (HR, 6.228; P<0.001) than those who did not have metabolic syndrome or low bilirubin levels.

“In conclusion, the addition of low serum bilirubin levels to the traditional risk factors for CAD, such as metabolic syndrome, may yield an improvement of risk prediction,” the authors write.

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