New test to predict heart attack.
A new test may help doctors identify people who are on the verge of a heart attack,
said a press release put out by the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute
in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Its researchers have identified plasma levels of two markers - microRNA 122 and 126 - that appear to decline a few days before a person suffers a heart attack.
"It's always been a mystery trying to identify people with heart disease who are at imminent risk of having a heart attack," said lead author Oxana Galenko. "Currently, there's no blood test that allows us to say, 'yes, this person will likely have a heart attack in the near future'. But identifying what happens to these markers has given us a place to start."
Galenko and her team looked at samples of 30 patients who had suffered a heart attack within 44 days of having their blood collected. Researchers examined factors such as age, gender, race, elevated amounts of or cholesterol in the bloodstream, high blood pressure, and diabetes. They noticed that within two weeks of experiencing a heart attack, patient's microRNA 122 and 126 dramatically dropped. "MicroRNAs act like a watch dog, and when their levels are reduced, heart disease takes a turn for the worse and heart attacks are likely to occur," the release quoted her as saying.