New blood test could predict a person’s risk of stroke within the next four years

Shirley Ballas shares health update after blood tests

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Scientists have now developed a blood test that can predict how at risk someone is of a stroke, heart attack, or heart failure within the next four years.

The test measures proteins in the blood and has double the accuracy of existing methods.

Lead researcher Dr Stephen Williams described the tests as a “new frontier of personal medicine”.

Williams said it was enabled them to answer the question of whether a patient needed “enhanced treatment” and to determine whether treatment administered has worked.

Furthermore, it has been suggested the test could increase the rate of progress on new cardiovascular drugs as it would be possible to know in a much shorter time whether the drug in question had worked.

Although this sounds promising, currently the test is only available in the USA.

However, Dr Williams said: “The NHS is definitely on our radar screen, and we are talking to people about how it might work.”

The results of the research have been published in the journal Translational Medicine.

One of the problems with current techniques is how difficult it is to match people with the correct medication.

Dr Williams expanded on the matter: “The problem is matching them [treatments] to the people who need them the most and measuring whether they worked well.”

King’s College London Professor Manuel Mayr said of the research: “Proteins are the building blocks of our body.

“This study provides measurements for a quarter of all proteins that are encoded by our genes, which has become possible because of emerging, new technologies that allow measure of thousands of proteins and offers new opportunities to assess risk in patients.”

Professor Mayr continued to explain how the study, “uncovers new associations between proteins in blood and death by all causes, more research is needed to assess the potential clinical impact of using these 27 proteins, compared to current risk prediction tools for cardiovascular disease”.

Heart and circulatory diseases are one of the biggest killers in the UK; every three minutes someone dies from one of the conditions.

Meanwhile a recent study has found a simple act can help to reduce a person’s risk of heart disease.

A study published in the European Heart Journal says drinking water can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Lead author Natalia Dmitrieva said: “Similar to reducing salt intake, drinking enough water and staying hydrated are ways to support our hearts and may help reduce long-term risks for heart disease.”

The most common form of heart disease is coronary heart disease.

Symptoms of the condition include:
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath
• Pain throughout the body
• Feeling faint
• Nausea.

More information on current heart diseases symptoms, treatments, and causes are available on the NHS website.

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