Scientists could better predict a person's risk of developing a heart attack by examining blood levels of certain proteins that heart muscles release when they are injured, according to a new study.
The test is currently being used in hospitals on patients who report chest pains. Analysing the blood samples for these particular markers could reduce people's risk of developing heart disease.
"What we’re finding out is that these tests can be used in general population to give us information as to who is most likely to have a future problem, whether it be a heart attack, stroke or heart failure," Doctor Christie Ballantyne, senior study author and cardiology chief at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told a news portal.
For the study, 8,121 people between the ages of 54 to 74 were involved in the study. None of the patients had a history of cardiovascular disease. The team wanted to investigate troponin, a protein released into the bloodstream during a heart attack. The results showed sensitive troponin tests were able to predict a person's 10-year risk of having a heart attack.
Recently, the British Heart Foundation has funded research into this type of testing. "We have recently funded research into troponin blood testing that is even more sensitive and may help diagnose more heart attacks, particularly in woman, who can release lower levels of troponin," senior cardiac nurse, Christopher Allan, told a news portal.
Ballantyne further explained: "Research in this area is leading us toward individualised care more so we can better predict who’s at risk for developing adverse cardiovascular outcomes."
An unexpected loss of blood flow to the heart causes a heart attack. The slow build up of atheroma, which are fatty deposits, in one or more coronary arteries causes them to narrow, which results in a heart attack. Unhealthy lifestyles and diet are major contributing factors that are increasing the number of people that experience the condition each year.
Ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack:
- Manage blood pressure levels
- Treat diabetes
- Consumer health food
- Quit smoking
- Managecholesterol levels
- Regularly exercise
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce stress
Many people who have suffered a heart attack experience discomfort in the middle of the chest for a few minutes. An intense pain that fees like a lot of pressure in that area is a sign of the heart disease.Arms, jaw, stomach and neck are other areas of the body you could also experience the pain. Other symptoms of a heart attack are migraine, sweating and shortness of breath. Consult with a doctor if you have experienced these symptoms.