A Simple Blood Test Can Predict a Person’s Risk for Sudden Cardiac Death: Researcher

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 04, 2014

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Samuel C. Dudley , M.D., Ph.D, chief of cardiology at the CVI, has found that a simple blood test can predict a person's risk for suddenly dying from the cessation of heart function.

heart attackHe said that the primary prevention model for at-risk patients in the U.S. is to implant an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) before a cardiac event happens. While it’s better to be safe, this has led to widespread overuse of ICDs throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Dudley asserted that with this blood test, they can refine the need for such a device, and instead implant the cardiac defibrillators only in the most severe cases of sudden cardiac death risk.

The new blood test is in a pilot phase and will be validated in a large, multi-site trial led by Dudley and other researchers at Lifespan’s CVI anticipated to start this fall.

Sudden cardiac death is an unexpected death caused by loss of heart function, or sudden cardiac arrest. It is the most common cause of natural death in the US resulting in approximately 325,000 adult deaths in the country each year.

The incidence rate is quite high in India - about 10% of all cardiac-related deaths are sudden while the mean age of the patients who die is lower than 60 years.

Studies have showed that one-third of the patients who die of SCD had heart attacks in the past and 80% of them were smokers or had risk factors like hypertension and diabetes.

Dudley said, "This is the first test of its kind. Never before have clinicians been able to accurately assess a patient's risk of sudden cardiac death by performing a blood test. The primary prevention model for at-risk patients in the US is to implant an ICD before a cardiac event happens. While it's better to be safe this has led to widespread overuse of ICDs throughout the US and abroad."

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

Tips to keep heart disease at bay

Kick the butt

Even occasional or ‘social smoking’ is dangerous and increases the risk of heart disease. The good news is that no matter how long you have been smoking, you will feel better, and begin reaping rewards as soon as you kick the habit.

Eat healthy

One of the starting points is to revamp your diet and make smart substitutions such as switching to heart-healthy cooking oils like canola oil that is high in mono and polyunsaturated fats which help in reducing the risk of coronary artery disease.

Move it

Avoid leading a sedentary lifestyle; exercising daily is a must, even if it is for 30-45 min. Regular physical activity helps you control your weight and reduce your chances of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may put a strain on your heart.

Article Source: ANI
Image Source: Getty Images

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