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Blood test helps assess cardiovascular health
Some people suffer from cardiovascular diseases after a heart attack. Researchers have now found that a newly developed blood test could help quickly and easily identify patients at increased risk of these conditions.
The University of Sheffield scientists found that a simple blood test can provide an indication of whether patients who have had a heart attack are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. The experts published the results of their study in the European Heart Journal.
Better protect people from cardiovascular diseases in the future
The study, which is currently being carried out, could help researchers in the future to identify new goals and opportunities that reduce the risk for people after a heart attack for cardiovascular diseases, the scientists explain. The researchers hope that this will ultimately also enable more effective treatments to be developed.
More than 4,300 subjects were examined for the study
During his investigation, the research team led by Professor Rob Storey from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Sheffield analyzed the blood plasma samples from more than 4,300 patients with acute coronary syndrome. The doctors measured the maximum density of a blood clot and the time it takes for such a clot to finally disintegrate.
Certain participants had a 40 percent increased risk
After adjusting to known clinical features and risk factors, the study found that patients with the longest time to break down the blood clot were about 40 percent more likely to have recurrent myocardial infarction or death from cardiovascular disease.
Results explain the causes of an increased risk
Enormous progress has been made in improving the prognosis after a heart attack in the past two decades. There is still a lot of room for improvement, however, explains Professor Storey. The results provided provide exciting clues as to why some patients have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases after a heart attack and how these can be treated with new methods in the future, adds the expert.
What is acute coronary syndrome?
The study also makes it clear that novel therapies can improve the prognosis in patients with acute coronary syndrome. A so-called acute coronary syndrome actually summarizes a spectrum of different cardiovascular diseases, which cannot be differentiated exactly. These diseases include: Unstable angina pectoris, NSTEMI, STEMI and the so-called sudden cardiac death.
More research is needed
Physicians should now look for other ways to tailor future treatment to individual risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease after a heart attack, the scientists say. It also had to be tested whether certain drugs can reduce this risk. (as)