Biomarkers May Determine Heart Disease

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By Larry Burkum

Washington, DC - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease causes 1 in every 4 deaths in the U.S. But doctors still can't tell who will suffer from a heart attack and when.

Now researchers at Medstar Heart Institute in Washington, DC say they may have the answer.

It's a new test that detects markers or characteristics in the blood linked to the risk of having a heart attack.

If a patient has all three of these abnormal biomarkers, they have an 18 percent chance of having a heart attack or dying from one within a year.

Researchers say the biomarker test provides short term predictions doctors can't get by simply looking at a patient's health history.

"You can't use genetics to sensitively distinguish who is at risk in the next year or two. It could tell you who's at risk over the next 20 years, but what the physician also has to know and perhaps even more importantly, is who's at risk in the next few months," Dr. Stephen Epstein said.

Researchers hope the test will be available for patients within the next few years.

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