Can We Predict a Heart Attack?
There have been countless studies on risks and how to reduce the number of heart attacks.
But what if doctors could predict a heart attack before it happens?
Hundreds of thoudsands of Americans suffer heart attacks each year, many of them fatal.
A new study suggests there may be a new marker to determine who that victim will be.
It's called circulating endothelial cells, or CEC.
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute compared blood samples of 50 patients who went to the emergency room with an acute heart attack to samples from 50 healthy individuals.
CEC levels were 400% higher in the heart attack patients and their CEC molecules were much larger.
There was no correlation with other traditional markers for diagnosing a heart attack.
They detect failed heart muscles.
That's not what CEC does. It detects an underlying process that happens before the heart attack occurs.
The study concludes that in addition to being used to diagnose a heart attack, CEC has the potential to be a crystal ball that will one day be used to identify a person who is about to have a heart attack.
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