ibnlive » Health

Jun 16, 2007 at 02:35pm IST

Simple blood test predicts heart risk

New Delhi: According to a US study, a person's risk of heart attack or stroke and the likelihood cardiovascular disease sufferers will die of their illness can be predicted by a simple blood test with strong probability.

The research was conducted on 987 men and women suffering from stable coronary disease found that a higher level of the protein NT-proBNP in blood meant a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure or death.

The NT-proBNP protein is a marker in the blood for the hormone BNP, which goes up during times of cardiac stretch or stress, said the California based San Francisco VA Medical Centre.

PREDICTING THE RISK: A simple blood test predicts heart attack and stroke risk with strong probability.

The patients were divided into four groups during the study with varying blood levels of NT-proBNP, and were each followed for an average of 3.7 years.

During the study, 26 per cent of the patients on which the research was conducted died or suffered some level of heart failure.

In comparison with patients with the lowest levels of the biological marker, patients with the highest levels of NT-proBNP were 3.4 times more likely to die or have a heart attack or stroke.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the research findings in its January 10 edition.