Oxidized phospholipids can be tested in blood to indicate the possibility of heart attacks in people under 60 years of age.
A report in the 7th July 2005 issue of New England Journal of Medicine indicates that the blood levels of Oxidized phospholipids may indicate the amount of fatty build- up patients have in their arteries of heart. This test may in future help in deciding if invasive tests like angiograms are required to exclude coronary artery disease.
Oxidized phospholipids is similar to cholesterol. Researcher Tsimikas said: ``It's a novel test in the blood that's independent of everything else we can measure currently to determine how much coronary blockage is present, "we still need to do some more studies to validate the findings". At present the test is not available commercially.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. What is interesting is this type of tests will be able to give the doctors lead-time and advice patients to change their lifestyles. More research and validation studies are required before the test becomes commercially viable.
Tsimikas said: ``I'm hoping this will open up an area of research where we can look to see how important these measures are in patients and to see if we can find novel therapeutic agents, drugs, to lower their levels in the blood to see if this reduces cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes",