New test predicts death, heart attack risk among diabetic patients

New test predicts death, heart attack risk among diabetic patients

A simple test can accurately predict death and heart attack risk associated with diabetes.

The test works by identifying two biomarkers - High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T and N-Terminal Pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide.

"The addition of either marker improved the prediction of major cardiovascular events within the next five years. Likewise, both markers greatly improved the accuracy with which the five-year risk of death was predicted," Associate Professor Graham Hillis, of The George Institute for Global Health and The University of Sydney, said in a news release. "The combination of both markers provided optimal risk discrimination."

More than 3,850 diabetic patients participated in the study. Findings, reported in the journal Diabetes Care, are expected to help provide better intervention and avoid any adverse health outcomes in type 2 diabetic patients.

"Simple screening tests that better detect high risk Type 2 diabetes patients would be particularly valuable," Hillis said. "Accurate risk stratification allows treatments to be targeted to individuals who may derive particular benefit from interventions such as more intensive blood pressure lowering or statin therapy. Biomarkers might also identify a subgroup of patients who have the most to gain from antiplatelet therapy or those that require additional cardiovascular investigations such as echocardiography or stress testing."

Diabetes is a condition when a person's blood sugar levels become extremely high. The chronic condition occurs either due to the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin in the body or the body cells' non-responsive attitude to the insulin. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 65 percent of diabetic people die from heart disease or stroke. Certain conditions associated with diabetes, including hypertension, obesity, abnormal blood lipids, widely contribute to this occurrence.

When left untreated, the high sugar levels in the blood damages blood vessels, and leads to hypertension and atherosclerosis (an occurrence, where plaque is accumulated on the artery walls). The narrowing and hardening of arteries are well-known factors that pose risk to the heart. The build-up of fatty deposits in the artery wall reduces blood flow, causing blood clots, heart failure, strokes, high blood pressure, renal failure, leg pains and aneurysm (swelling of blood vessels).

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