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Blood test may spot previously undetected heart problems

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Some individuals who have potentially disastrous heart conditions may show few symptoms. For that reason, a team of researchers from the UT Southwestern Medical Center looked into how simple blood tests may be able to diagnose the conditions.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. It is generally easy to spot through blood pressure and cholesterol testing. However, for some individuals, the diagnosis is a bit more elusive.

However, by using blood tests to look for the presence of the protein troponin T, researchers found that they could accurately predict an individual's risk of dying from heart disease, regardless of whether they displayed symptoms.

"This test is among the most powerful predictors of death in the general population we've seen so far," said Dr. James de Lemos, who led the investigation. "It appears that the higher your troponin T, the more likely you are to have problems with your heart, and the worse you're going to do, regardless of your other risk factors."

He added that the findings could help identify heart problems in individuals with common risk factors, like obesity, diabetes and hypertension, who have gone undiagnosed.

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