A simple blood test could someday help diagnose coronary heart disease. Scientists at Duke University have discovered 14 genes in circulating blood cells that are linked with coronary heart disease, a condition that can lead to heart attack.
These genes seem to signal inflammatory changes that happen when plaque starts to build up in coronary arteries and can even indicate how bad any blockages really are. A blood test could quickly and easily identify these genes instead of putting patients through the normal echocardiograms, stress tests, and even angioplasties.
Researchers say they do not know if these genes cause coronary heart disease or if they are a result of the condition and say larger studies still need to be done. The researchers worked with CardioDx, a private molecular diagnostics company based in California.