Troponin test could be used to assess future risk of heart disease

Troponin test could be used to assess future risk of heart disease

Research by Professor Nick Mills, Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow suggest that the troponin test curently used to help diognose a heart attack could be used to identify people who will benefit from statins, and could monitor whether patients are responding to treatment.

Researchers found that changes in levels of troponin in a patient's blood sample accurately predicted the risk of that person sufffering a heart attack or dying of coronary heart disease.

People whose troponin levels decreased the most were five times less likely to suffer a heart attachk - or die from coronary heart disease - than those who experienced the greatest increase in troponin levels, the study showed.

The team also found that taking statins was associated with a drop in troponin levels.  Treatment doubled the number of men whose troponin fell more than a quarter, which identified them as having the lowest risk for future coronary events.

"Troponin testing will help doctors to idenitfy apparently health individuals who have silent heart disease so we can target preventative treatments more effectively."

-Professor Nick Mills, Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh

The research has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.