A protein believed to be an indicator of cardiovascular disease may actually be what causes the ailment that results in one death every 34 seconds in the U.S, according to a recent study led by University of Michigan researchers. Past research has identified the protein – soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (SuPAR) – as a marker of cardiovascular disease. But now there’s evidence high levels of SuPAR actually causes the buildup in the artery walls that can lead to heart attack or stroke. Dr. Salim Hayek, medical director of U-M’s Frankel Cardiovascular Clinics and senior author of the study, called the discovery a “huge turning point.” He said the finding, backed by clinical, genetic and experimental data, (and reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation) could lead to therapeutic breakthroughs within a few years.  Read the full article in MLive.