A very simple blood test could help doctors to identify heart attack risks up to a decade in advance using a “risk score”. With tens of thousands in the UK dying from coronary heart problems each year, it could be a big help towards cutting that number.
Heart disease problems
Coronary heart disease (CHD) has been the leading cause of death worldwide for some time. It’s responsible for more than 73,000 deaths in the UK each year with one in six men and one in ten women dying from it according to NHS statistics.
Estimated to affect around two million UK residents, CHD sufferers are at risk of experiencing angina, heart attacks and heart failure. The risk of having CHD is higher for men than women, although after the age of 50 the risk becomes similar for both sexes.
Developing from blockages or restrictions of blood travelling through your coronary arteries, CHD is commonly affected by living conditions and lifestyle choices including:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Blood vessel inflammation
Often, sufferers will only realise they have CHD when they develop one of the symptoms (which can often be too late). The new tests, which use a simple blood sample, are able to highlight to doctors who is at risk far before they show any symptoms.
Performing this test can assist doctors and help those affected plan for the future and ensure the right choices are made (and correct medication given) to keep a healthy body in order to prevent or minimise that risk. The test can also ensure that doctors are prepared in case the patient suffers a heart attack or heart failure. Being prepared can, at the very least, give medical experts the best possible chance of saving a life due to having full details long before any problems arise.
Speaking about genetic risk score and the part it could play for CHD sufferers, Research Professor Sir Nilesh Samani said “We already know that coronary heart disease starts at an early age, several decades before symptoms develop. Unfortunately, current clinical risk scores are not good at evaluating risk until middle-age. On the other hand the genetic risk score, which is based on your DNA, can be applied at any age.”
Lowering the score
While prescriptions of medication is one way to treat an at risk person, there are plenty of other ways to lower risks without taking medication. Following simple lifestyle choices, such as eating better and exercising regularly can dramatically reduce any person’s risk of suffering in later life.
Some elements are not so easy to follow, but if managed, could again contribute to cutting that percentage. Ways of further preventing CHD are:
- Quitting smoking
- Controlling blood pressure
- Managing stress and anger
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Obtaining the correct BMI for your size
Some jobs based in imposing environments may run the risk of exposing sufferers to added stress or pollutants that can put strain on the hear. Therefore, it is advised for known sufferers to get checked if this potentially affects you in order to assess any risks before something serious happens.
Having dealt with instances of heart troubles assisted by workplace environments and strains before, we understand the heavy toll it can take on a person. For information on how we deal with cases involving diseases picked up at the workplace, you can visit our website.
To get in touch with us regarding a disease or condition which has become present due to stimulants from a workplace, you can speak to one of our expert team on 01695 722 222 weekdays from 9am to 7pm. Alternatively you can contact us about making a claim using our online form here.