Secondary heart attacks could be predicted by a simple blood test

Detecting whether someone is at risk of having a secondary heart attack could be through the provision of a simple blood test according to new research being conducted by the Baker Institute.

Professor Peter Meikle who heads the Institute’s metabolomics department and his team have identified fats in the blood (known as plasma biomarkers) that improve upon traditional risk factors in predicting heart disease and stroke.

The team are proposing to trial this revolutionary blood test in Australia over the next 2-3 years as part of a broader personalised health program currently being developed. In time, GPs will be able to use this test to better assess a patient’s risk of developing heart disease.

“This test was developed after a study looked at 10,000 samples to find the bio markers that will determine whether a person is at risk of having another heart attack,” said Professor Meikle.

“We hope to identify those individuals who are treated at greatest risk of a second heart attack so that they can be closely monitored and treated accordingly. While there are thousands of lipids in the blood, our challenge is to identify which ones best predict disease outcomes,” he said.

At this stage, a prototype of this test has been trialled in America however the prototype provides GP’s and patients with limited information on 2 lipid markers and is not yet available in Australia.

The blood test will be similar to the cost and process of having a cholesterol test and could be operated out of hospital pathology laboratories that house the necessary equipment.

Heart Support Australia is looking forward to seeing how the research progresses as well as learning of the benefits patients will enjoy should the trial be introduced.

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