Health Watch - Heart Month: Early Detection

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about American Heart Month and ways to help prevent and treat heart disease. Doctors can tell which people with chest pains are having a heart attack, but what if they could tell which people without symptoms may be in danger of heart disease?

People having a heart attack have higher levels of a particular protein in their blood. This means doctors can use a blood test to help diagnose heart attacks. Now a more sensitive blood test that can detect even smaller levels of that protein may be able to detect early heart disease in middle-age people, even if they don’t have symptoms or other risk factors. Dr. James de Lemos, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says this could help prevent death and disability from heart disease by detecting patients who are in danger early enough for doctors to begin treatment.


February 2011

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