Researchers have developed a new method for detecting potential heart attacks, which is supposed to be more effective than the traditional methods of monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol.
The best part of all is that this methods uses a quick, easy and cheap blood test.
The method, research for which has been funded by the British Heart Foundation, has only been tested on men so far, but the researchers see no reason why it should not work on women as well.
This new method works by looking for a specific protein, called troponin, which is released when a heart muscle is damaged.
It is currently used by doctors to help them determine whether a patient has just had a heart attack or not. But researchers believe that it can be used before it ever gets to that point.
Elevated levels of troponin could signify that a patient could potentially have a heart attack in the near future. But once the protein is detected it gives doctors a chance to start administering cholesterol lowering measures in order to make the heart healthy again.
Prof David Newby who worked on the project said:
“Troponin is almost like a barometer of heart health. If it creeps up, that’s bad and your risk of heart problems increases. If it goes down, that’s good. It also appears to predict who benefits from statins and opens a door to a whole new way of testing.”
Dr Tim Chico, a cardiologist from Sheffield University, said:
“The problem with heart disease is that it remains very difficult to detect the early signs in people without symptoms, so these findings may provide a way to help identify people at risk.”
This discovery could revolutionise the way in which we treat heart conditions, which is one of the biggest killers in the UK.
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