Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blood test predicts cardiac events and death in heart patients

11.01.2007
A simple blood test for the protein NT-proBNP accurately predicts the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and death in patients with known cardiovascular disease, according to a study led by a researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

The study of 987 men and women with stable coronary heart disease revealed that the higher a patient's level of NT-proBNP, the greater the chance the patient would die or have a cardiovascular event – heart attack, heart failure, or stroke.

"After adjusting for all other risk factors, it's clear that this marker is picking up something that we are otherwise unable to detect with standard tests such as echocardiography," says principal investigator Mary Whooley, MD, a staff physician at SFVAMC and an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

The study appears in the January 10, 2007 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

... more about:
»Cardiovascular »NT-proBNP »Whooley »predicts

NT-proBNP is a marker in the blood for BNP, a hormone that "goes up during times of cardiac stretch or stress," explains Whooley. "When the heart wall is over-expanded by too much blood volume, or damaged by lack of blood flow to the heart itself, BNP goes up, and NT-proBNP along with it."

Patients in the study were divided into four quartiles depending on their NT-proBNP blood levels, and followed for an average of 3.7 years each. Twenty-six percent died or had a cardiovascular event during the course of the study. The study reports that "each increasing quartile … was associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular events or death." Patients in the quartile with the highest levels of the biomarker were 3.4 times more likely to die or have a cardiovascular event than patients in the group with the lowest levels.

Whooley cautions that the NT-proBNP test is "not something that we should order on every patient who comes in for a routine checkup," but would be most useful for patients with known coronary heart disease. "In the general population, the incidence of heart disease is so low relative to the incidence in heart disease patients that you get many more false positive results than true positives, which really lowers the value of the test," she says. "It's much better at predicting risk in a population with a high incidence of heart disease."

Whooley also notes that, even among heart patients, the value of the test is limited "because all of the therapies available to prevent cardiovascular events should already be used among these patients. The best it can do is help identify candidates for more aggressive therapy."

She says that one additional step for researchers is to see "whether there are therapeutic interventions that still remain to be developed that might prevent heart patients with elevated BNP from doing worse."

Patients in the current study were all enrolled in the Heart and Soul Study, a multi-year prospective study of one thousand heart patients directed by Whooley that is designed to investigate whether depression predicts heart disease. "Because the Heart and Soul Study measures heart disease so carefully, our data set has become extremely valuable for a wide range of cardiovascular studies, many of which have nothing to do with our original hypothesis," Whooley says. "This study is just one example."

Steve Tokar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncire.org
http://www.ucsf.edu/

Further reports about: Cardiovascular NT-proBNP Whooley predicts

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
25.09.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>