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www.wmfd.com - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease, but doctors say some people may be more at risk for heart attacks than others and not know it. }}" />

   
 
 
New Test May Detect Markers In Blood Linked To Heart Attack

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 8/21/2013 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. But doctors say some people may be more at risk for heart attacks than others and not know it. How can physicians tell? Here's Holly Firfer with today's Health Minute. Heart attacks are unpredictable. Even though doctors know obesity, genetic makeup, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle can be factors in developing heart disease, caridiologists still can't tell ho will suffer from a heart attack and when. "The big problem is how do you distinguish the patient who's at risk of a heart attack versus the patient who has stable coronary disease," asks Dr. Stephen Epstein, of Medstar Heart Institute in Washington, D.C. Researchers at Medstar Heart Institute say they may have the answer. It's a new test that detects markers or characteristics in the blood that are linked to the risk of having a heart attack. If a patient has all three of these abnormal biomarkers, they have an 19-percent chance of having a heart attack or dying from one within a year. "So, it could have a profound impact on how the physician treats the patient once he knows what the biomarker score is," says Dr. Epstein. Dr. Epstein says the remarkable thing about the biomarker test is the short term predictions doctors get, that they can't get by simply looking at a person's health history. "You can't use genetics to sensitively distinguish who is at risk in the next year ot two," says Dr. Epstein. "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." Researchers hope the test will be available for patients within the next few years.
   
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