‘Heart attack’ blood test can predict future hypertension

Washington D.C., Aug 27 : A sensitive version of a blood test long used to verify heart muscle damage from heart attacks could predict future hypertension, says study.

A research team led by Johns Hopkins investigators found that people with subtle elevations in Cardiac Troponin were more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension within a few years.

Lead investigator Bill McEvoy said that identifying those at risk for hypertension as well as those in the earliest stages of the disease would allow them to intervene much sooner, either with lifestyle changes or medication, before the condition develops fully and has had a chance to damage organs.

Researchers said that the Standard Troponin test worked great for figuring out whether someone with chest pain or other cardiac symptoms was having a heart attack.

They added that the high-sensitivity test could identify these people, because it detected even trace amounts of troponin released by heart cells injured by spikes in blood pressure that went unnoticed.

In the study, McEvoy and colleagues analysed blood samples obtained in the late 1980s and early 1990s from 5,479 people.

None of the participants had clinical diagnosis of hypertension at the beginning of the study although a small subgroup had high-normal blood pressures, a condition that often heralds the onset of full-blown hypertension later on.

The researchers concluded that their data suggested that the high-sensitivity troponin test could flag people with normal blood pressure in the doctor’s office who were at high risk for hypertension and other poor outcomes.

The study is published in the Journal Circulation. (ANI)