Heart disease remains the leading cause of suffering and death in the U.S.
Many chronic conditions can contribute to it, such as high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Although there have been improvements in the prevention of heart disease, treatments of these risk factors are not optimal.
In a new study, researchers have found a new way to predict heart disease risk in older people.
They found that increased levels of a blood protein called troponin I are linked to high risks of heart attack, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and death.
The research was conducted by a team from Baylor College of Medicine.
In the study, the team analyzed data from more than 8,000 participants between the ages of 54 and 74.
In their analysis, they found that when they added troponin I to their risk prediction model, there was a strong improvement in risk prediction, particularly for the risk of developing heart failure.
They also found that another important blood protein, troponin T, which is used commonly for the diagnosis of heart attack, provided important information.
People who had higher levels of both biomarkers had an increased risk for heart attacks and stroke.
The findings are very important because they can help develop personalized therapies. Doctors can put the most intensive efforts for prevention on people at highest risk.
They hope their findings can help improve blood tests used in predicting heart disease.
Future work needs to test the optimal methods to prevent heart attacks, strokes and heart failure in individuals with the highest risk of heart disease.
One author of the study is Dr. Christie Ballantyne.
The study is published in the journal Circulation.
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