Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Heart Failure Could Be Predicted By New Blood Test

Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart is unable to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the need of the body. It is a common and potentially deadly condition. It affects about 6 to 10 percent of people aged 65 and above.

A number of tests that are commonly used by doctors to diagnose heart failure include ECG (Electrocardiogram), heart CT scan (computerized tomography), MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) of the heart and cardiac stress tests. Routine blood test could help identify heart failure too.

Researchers from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the University of Texas, Dallas in the United States declared on November 15, 2010 in the ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’ (JAMA) that they have developed a new blood test to predict the risk of heart failure in older adults who do not have symptoms of heart disease.

The new test is a supposed to be more advance than that is currently used in emergency rooms to identify whether patients having chest pain is getting a heart attack or otherwise. Such findings might help assess the risk of death for older people aged above 65 who appear in good health. This group of people, which sees 80 percent of new congestive heart failure cases, is particularly difficult to gauge.

5,613 participants, who were all 65 years or older and free of heart failure at the outset, were involved in an ongoing study of cardiovascular health. The blood samples of 4,221 participants were studied and stored for up to 18 years. The marker was detected in two-thirds of the participants.

What the test does is to measure the level of troponin T that is a marker for the biological process of cell death leading to heart failure. The higher the level of troponin, the higher the risk that individual would have symptoms of heart failure or death from cardiovascular disease over the next 10 to 15 years.

While the meaning of these elevated levels was still unknown, the new test could detect troponin levels that are 10 times lower than the existing tests. The new test, however, is not commercially available in the United States yet.

1 comment:

  1. There is definitely a lot of research and medical help on the heart disease for the benefit of the patients.It will help with an early treatment report.