Test 'could highlight risk of heart attack within hours'

28 December 2011

A new test could help to determine the diagnosis of a heart attack within hours, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University Heart Center Hamburg, Germany, found that a biomarker to test the levels of troponin I, a protein in the heart, could rule out the risk of problems such as a heart attack.

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study revealed that the test could produce accurate results up to three hours before the onset of a heart attack.

The authors of the research wrote: "Early identification of individuals at high and intermediate risk for myocardial ischemia [insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle] is crucial because they benefit the most from early and aggressive treatment."

Leader of the study Till Keller of the University Heart Center looked at 1,818 patients with suspected heart problems and found that the biomarker could  highlight risk factors of further cardiac difficulties.

According to the British Heart Foundation, most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease and the gradual build up of fatty material around the heart and major arteries.

Posted by Philip Briggs


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