New Blood Test May Predict Heart Attack Risk

Dr. Puvi Seshiah MD, FACC, FSCAI, a cardiologist at the TriHealth Heart Institute, discusses a new blood test that could help predict who is likely to suffer a heart attack within the next five years.

Plaque Buildup: Current Testing

Right now, learning how much plaque buildup we have in our arteries usually requires an invasive test. However, a recent study in Current Medical Research and Opinion found that a new blood test called MIRISK VP, may help determine who is likely to suffer a heart attack within the next five years, based on certain proteins found in plaque.

When fat, cholesterol and other substances build up in the walls of the arteries, they form hard structures called plaques. Over time, these plaques can block the arteries and cause problems throughout the body.

MIRISK: Pros vs. Cons

Dr. Seshiah says the only current issue with the test is that it’s too soon to know who should have it. “This new test is fascinating,” he says. “In the future, if you can find out which of those those low-risk patients are actually, truly, high-risk, that’s going to help us, probably, target those patients better.”

Ideally, this means individuals who are at a higher risk for suffering a heart attack could start medication, or implement healthy lifestyle changes earlier than ever, which might reduce the need for more costly interventions down the road.

Tags Heart

Last Updated: May 14, 2013