Heart disease could soon be prevented with a simple jab after a breakthrough in research on mice.
Swedish scientists obtained encouraging results from their experiments, which could mean that a vaccine against Britain's biggest killer is on the horizon.
Their technique used oxidised cholesterol to prime the immune system to attack fatty deposits, known as plaques, that build up on artery walls.
A 70% reduction in the number of plaques was seen in mice that were given the cholesterol jab, New Scientist magazine reports.
The research results were presented to a meeting of the European Vascular Genomics Network in Cambridge.
Bristol Royal Infirmary heart expert Andrew Newby, who chaired one of the meeting sessions, said: "It is an extremely attractive idea. In principle, it would be a relatively short-term treatment, but give lifetime protection."
Most heart attacks are caused by blood clots in the heart's arteries that cut off the blood supply to the organ's muscles.
Genetic factors play a part, but lifestyle choices such as smoking and a high-fat diet are also important.