Worcester researchers find new way to identify those at risk of second heart attack - The Worcester Observer

Worcester researchers find new way to identify those at risk of second heart attack

Worcester Editorial 4th May, 2024   0

WORCESTER researchers have discovered a new method to identify patients at risk of a second heart attack by sampling their blood.

The test will also be able to help to predict the type of heart attack a patient might have, and the area of the heart affected.

Heart attacks can be classified into two main types- STEMI (ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction) and NSTEMI (Non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction).

Researchers from the University of Worcester looked at biomarkers in the blood samples of patients who’d been admitted to hospital after an NSTEMI heart attack.

Biomarkers are used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition.

They found when the blood samples of the patients had a higher concentration of a particular biomarker, they were at a higher risk of having a second heart attack in the following 12 months.

The study, which began in 2018, has now been accepted by the International Journal of Cardiology.

Research also found the biomarker was useful in determining which kind of heart attack a patient was experiencing.

The British Heart Foundation has previously highlighted the harm that can be caused by being diagnosed as having the wrong kind of heart attack.

Dr Steven Coles, a senior lecturer in Biochemistry from the University of Worcester, was the supervisor for the study.

He said: “The study used blood samples from people who were presenting at hospital with an Acute Coronary Syndrome event.

“We studied these samples and followed up with them after six months and then again after 12 months.

“We looked at the concentration of particular biomarkers in their blood and categorised them into low, medium or high for that biomarker.

“Half of the group who had higher levels of it were readmitted to hospital with a secondary heart attack in the year following their initial one, but for the patients who were in the ‘low’ group for the biomarker, not a single one was readmitted.”

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