Innocuous Blood Test Pitches in as Heart Risk Barometer

by Savitha C Muppala on  January 10, 2007 at 6:33 PM Research News
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Innocuous Blood Test Pitches in as Heart Risk Barometer
In a recent finding, uncomplicated blood tests can actually foretell the risk of complications in patients due to heart disease. This is especially life-saving, for those who suffer severe cardiac problems, and a timely diagnosis could mean all the difference between life and death.

A study published today, claims that abnormal levels of a particular protein, is an indicator of inherent heart disease risk, evidently eight times more pronounced to suffer a heart failure, heart attack or stroke. This test focuses on locating a particular protein and ascertaining its levels; the test promises to be a reliable method to segregate patients requiring critical medical attention.

The protein in question, NT-proBNP, is a marker for the levels of a hormone called, brain-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), known to be high when the heart is stressed. A study conducted over three years with 987 men and women whose heart disease was stable, showed that any increase in NT-proBNP pointed towards an impending heart disease.

Therefore, it became evident that levels of protein NT-proBNP is capable of singling out underlying heart conditions, that is not possible to detect with standard tests. Researchers said that it is certainly worth ascertaining levels of this protein, along with other risk indicators, like cholesterol and blood pressure, to gauge the true condition of the patient.



Source: Medindia
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