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High level of protein used to exclude heart attack may signal risk of death: Study

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Los Angeles | August 8, 2023 3:12:07 PM IST
According to research published in the journal Heart, a high level of troponin, a protein typically used to rule out the possibility of a heart attack in patients with chest pain, may signal a higher risk of death from any cause within the next two years, even in the absence of known or suspected cardiovascular disease.The results lead the researchers to hypothesise that troponin might serve as a more widespread indicator of medium-term survival.The clinical significance of this has never been understood, according to the researchers, despite the fact that high cardiac troponin levels are frequently observed in hospital patients who do not exhibit obvious signs of a heart attack.

20,000 hospital patients who underwent a troponin blood test for any reason between June and August 2017 at a major teaching hospital, regardless of the original clinical indication, were followed to further investigate this. They were 61 years old on average, and 53 per cent of them were female.

An abnormally high cardiac troponin level was independently linked to a 76 per cent increased risk of death, not just from cardiovascular disease but also from other causes, according to further analysis that took into account age, sex, hospital location, and kidney function.

The association between cardiac troponin and elevated risk of death persisted after excluding deaths that occurred within 30 days, a parameter used to define the likelihood that this was related to the cause of their hospital stay.

According to the researchers, this shows that the association wasn't solely caused by a short-term risk of death.Due to the observational nature of this study, no definitive conclusions about cause and effect can be made.

The researchers also acknowledge a number of limitations. These include the fact that the study was conducted at a single hospital and that it was impossible to control for potentially influencing factors like participants' backgrounds or existing medical conditions.According to the researchers, it is biologically improbable that a high cardiac troponin level alone would increase the risk of death.

Rather, it is more likely to be a marker for a variety of health problems, including those that are still undiagnosed.

These include the fact that the study was conducted at a single hospital and that it was impossible to control for potentially influencing factors like participants' backgrounds or existing medical conditions.According to the researchers, it is biologically improbable that a high cardiac troponin level alone would increase the risk of death. Rather, it is more likely to be a marker for a variety of health problems, including those that are still undiagnosed. (ANI)

 
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