Australian Researchers Develop Blood Test which Predicts Long-Term Risk Of Heart Attack
“We have come a long way in treating coronary artery disease but certain patients continue to be at high risk of dying.
“This new blood test helped identify such patients who may derive benefit from more aggressive treatment,” Prof. Louise Burrell, one of the researchers from the Austin Health medical group and the University of Melbourne behind the new test, said in a statement.
The test identifies the ACE2 enzyme found at high levels in patients with coronary artery disease who were more likely to die or suffer from a heart attack over the next 10 years, according to the researchers’ findings published in the PLOS One scientific journal on Thursday.
Burrell said, circulating levels of the enzyme are low in healthy people but increase once cardiovascular disease or risk factors are present, including heart failure, kidney disease and diabetes.
The researchers recruited 79 patients with coronary artery disease.
Heart failure, heart attacks and death occurred in 46 per cent of them and occurring is more often in those with the highest ACE2 levels.
“Future studies are planned to investigate if intensification of the medical treatment in those patients will reduce the risk of death.
She said if this were the case, the ACE2 blood test could be offered to all patients with coronary artery disease as part of their risk assessment.”
Burell said coronary artery disease is a condition in which the heart’s own blood supply is narrowed or blocked due to build-up of plaque.
The researchers said it can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath or a heart attack. It may subsequently cause permanent heart damage leading to heart failure.
High blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and diabetes increase the risk of developing it.
Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in Australia, with more than 43,900 deaths attributed to the condition in 2016 alone, according to the health charity Heart Foundation.
Source: Independence NG