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The Making of Medicine

What People With the Meat Allergy Need to Know About the Heart Disease Discovery

I’ve been getting questions from people who have the meat allergy about our new discovery that links sensitivity to the allergen in red meat with increased buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries of the heart. They’re understandably concerned and want to know what to do. Here’s that info, straight from the lead researcher, Coleen McNamara, MD, of our Division of Cardiovascular Medicine:

In terms of current recommendation: Our study is just a preliminary finding identifying an association of sensitization to alpha gal with artery plaques. Much more work need to be done to validate this finding in a larger cohort and to determine whether there is causality. So, at the current time, patients need not do any different from a cardiovascular standpoint. They should continue to lead a heart-healthy life, which includes smoking cessation, regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, control of diabetes and treatment of cholesterol and high blood pressure.

That’s good advice for all of us.

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