An inexpensive blood test can help predict whether apparently healthy people are at risk of a heart attack. The test looks for a protein called tropinin. Studies have found that men with high levels of tropinin are more likely to die of heart disease. Researchers believe tropinin testing should have the same results in women, allowing doctors to target preventive treatments to patients at greatest risk.
- Experts say it could be better than just checking blood pressure and cholesterol to assess heart risk.
- So far, they have tested it only on men, but the British Heart Foundation-funded researchers say it should work in women too.The test, called troponin, looks for a protein released when the heart muscle is damaged.
- Doctors already use the same blood test to help diagnose men and women who they suspect have just had a heart attack.
“Troponin testing will help doctors to identify apparently healthy individuals who have silent heart disease so we can target preventive treatments to those who are likely to benefit most.”