We've all been surprised by a seemingly healthy friend who ends up with a quadruple by-pass and thought that's the last person I would have thought would have heart trouble.
Now, a new study is finding all those surprises could be prevented with a simple blood test.
"This brand new research that's looking at biomarkers and how it might help us predict which of our patients with heart disease are at high risk of death or heart attack," says Dr. Susan Bennett with Medstar Heart Institute.
Doctors from the Medstar Heart Institute and Emory University looked at blood samples from more than 3,000 patients with heart disease.
They found that those who had three abnormal biomarkers had nearly five times the risk of suffering a heart attack within two years.
But for those with just one biomarker, the risk was significantly less.
Researchers say knowing that kind of risk factor could help doctors decide who needs the most aggressive treatments, like surgery, and it could give reassurance to patients that medication is all they need.
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