A blood test that will predict heart attacks? This sounds too good to be true, but it just might be possible, according to an article at USNews.com. Here are excerpts:.
Though more study needs to be done, new research suggests that a simple blood test could help predict the heart attack risk of patients experiencing chest pain.
The Swedish study found that patients with chest pain who have undetectable levels of a certain chemical signal in their blood called “high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T,” plus no sign of reduced blood flow, are at very low risk for heart attack over the next month.
“Chest pain is a potentially life-threatening symptom, as well as being a very common one,” study lead author Dr. Nadia Bandstein, from the Karolinska Institute in Solna, Sweden, said in a meeting news release. “In our hospital it’s the second most common symptom reported in the emergency department. Since there are no established ways to quickly rule out heart attack, many patients are admitted to the hospital unnecessarily, at a large cost to the patient and to society.”
According to Bandstein, “using this blood test along with an ECG [electrocardiogram], we will save about 500 to 1,000 admissions per year in our hospital alone, allowing us to use the beds for sicker patients.”
Still, more research is required. And experts note that studies presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.