The identification of more sensitive and specific markers of atherosclerosis that are non-invasive and cost-effective may have profound impacts on public health. One such strategy involves the detection of marker genes or their products in blood or serum. Such markers may help identify high-risk patients with subclinical atherosclerosis who may benefit from intensive primary prevention or they may help determine the activity of established disease for monitoring response to treatment, resulting in more targeted secondary prevention.
The present invention relates to methods for detecting atherosclerosis using highly reactive biomarkers (FOS and/or DUSP1) expressed in blood cells or released into serum. Because these markers are also involved in pathogenesis, they may serve as potential targets for drug discovery and for intervention to modify disease progression.