Certain Blood Test Can Predict Likelihood of Heart Disease

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Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced today that a new study published in Circulation found its High Sensitive Troponin-I blood test could predict the chance of developing a cardiac event years before it occurs in people with no symptoms when added to current heart disease assessments.1 Using data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, researchers suggest doctors could add the test to routine physical assessments in healthy middle-aged and older adults to better predict their chances of developing heart disease.

Troponin blood tests are widely used to help physicians detect heart attacks. As healthcare systems make a shift from treating symptoms of heart disease to preventing the onset of it, research now indicates that measuring a person’s troponin levels using Abbott’s High Sensitive Troponin-I blood test also can help predict a person’s chances of having a cardiac event potentially years in advance when they show no signs or symptoms.

In this latest analysis, researchers found that elevated troponin-I levels using Abbott’s High Sensitive Troponin-I blood test are associated with having future cardiac events– such as heart attack, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure hospitalization and death. This increased risk was independent of typical heart disease risk factors, such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking and diabetes. The study found that compared to adults with low levels of troponin-I, adults who had elevated levels of troponin-I were:

  • More than twice as likely to have a cardiac disease event, such as a heart attack
  • Nearly three times more likely to have ischemic stroke
  • More than four times as likely to be hospitalized with heart failure

“Studies increasingly show the value of measuring troponin levels in people who have not been diagnosed with heart disease to help better determine their future risk,” said Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Cardiometabolic Disease Prevention, Baylor College of Medicine, and corresponding author of the study. “This study supports the value of adding highly sensitive troponin-I blood tests to current cardiovascular risk assessments to better identify patients who might benefit from more intensive steps to improve their heart health like improved diet and exercise.”

As part of this latest analysis of the ARIC study – an epidemiologic study on the causes of atherosclerosis – researchers looked at 8,121 adults age 54 to 73 years old with no known heart disease at the time their blood was drawn in 1998. Stored blood samples were used to measure troponin-I levels using Abbott’s High Sensitive Troponin-I diagnostic test, and 85% of participants had detectable troponin. Study participants were evaluated for approximately 15 years through 2013 to determine if they had a cardiac event. The study also measured troponin-T, another heart protein, using a different manufacturer’s test. The study found the levels of the troponins were not strongly correlated with each other.

Transforming heart disease from detection to prevention

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally.2 Yet, heart disease can often be prevented if identified early and managed through lifestyle changes and medication as needed. To determine a person’s risk for developing heart disease, physicians currently look at indirect heart health factors, such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure and a family history of heart disease. By contrast, Abbott’s High Sensitive Troponin-I blood test looks at a protein that comes directly from the heart and is found at elevated levels in the blood after heart muscle has been injured.

“Advancements in our diagnostic technology are allowing us to see levels of troponin that may indicate early signs of injury to the heart years before heart disease becomes overt or symptoms appear,” said Agim Beshiri, M.D., senior medical director, global medical and scientific affairs, Diagnostics, Abbott. “Having a clearer picture of a patient’s heart health can serve as a wake-up call – empowering people to work with their doctors to take control of their heart health and possibly prevent a future cardiac event.”

Abbott’s High Sensitive Troponin-I test is available for cardiac risk assessment in CE Marked and non-regulated countries, pending country registration.  Abbott’s blood test is not yet commercially available in the U.S. and was used for research purposes in this study. Abbott is actively pursuing registration of the High Sensitive Troponin-I test in the U.S.

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