Preventive cardiology researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have been on a mission to look for new ways to detect early stage heart disease in people who are not currently in treatment. They now believe that a new blood test for protein biomarkers could identify these individuals. Published in Circulation, the Texas-based team studied patient data from 13,000 people exploring whether measuring levels of two biomarkers—proteins and blood—would identify people in need of treatment.
A Target Group
The team uncovered about a third of the adult population studied who experienced mild hypertension and are not currently recommended for treatment in fact had slight elevations of one of these two biomarkers. They posit that these individuals are more likely to have heart attacks, strokes or congestive heart failure over the next 10 years or what they referred to in a recent UT Southwestern Newsroom as “flying under the radar.” This group isn’t aware that they face greater risk of cardiovascular events.
The study team analyzed the data from 12,987 participants (mean age 55, 55% female) who experienced 825 cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, over a median follow-up time of 10 years. The information was compiled from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Dallas Heart Study, and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The full-time faculty of more than 2,500 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 105,000 hospitalized patients, nearly 370,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 3 million outpatient visits a year.
Call to Action: Further studies are needed to determine whether informing blood pressure treatment with these biomarkers has an effect on patient outcomes.