This life-changing technology has the potential to transform how doctors identify those at risk for developing heart disease because the diagnostic test uses a biomarker specific to the heart. European guidelines currently recommend that doctors look at indirect heart health factors, such as a person's cholesterol levels, blood pressure as well as if they have diabetes or are a smoker, to determine risk for developing heart disease.3 A substantial body of research has shown that measuring a person's troponin levels using Abbott's High Sensitive Troponin-I test provides better predictive information for determining a person's chances of developing future heart disease when added to the current standard of care.4-8
Nick Mills, M.D., a cardiologist and researcher at the British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh, is an author of one such study that evaluated the impact of troponin tests. The West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS) found that troponin-I levels were an indicator of an increased risk of coronary heart disease independent of cholesterol levels lowering, and identified the patients who benefited most from preventive treatments with a statin.5 "Our ultimate goal as healthcare providers is to prevent the onset of disease, not just treat or manage its consequences," said Dr. Mills.
ADDRESSING HEART DISEASE: A SHIFT FROM DIAGNOSIS TO PREVENTION
Troponin-I proteins are released from the heart and can be found at elevated levels in the blood when the heart muscle has been damaged due to lack of blood flow. Abbott's High Sensitive Troponin-I blood test has been used in emergency rooms across Europe over the past five years to help physicians detect heart attacks faster and more accurately, particularly among women who often have lower troponin levels.9
Because the High Sensitive Troponin-I test can detect very low levels of troponin, the test now can be used to determine cardiac risk in people with no reported symptoms of heart disease. Using this diagnostic test during the same blood draw of a routine health exam, doctors will be able to look at what's actually happening to the heart and better determine their patients' risk of developing heart disease, such as a heart attack or other cardiac event, in the future. With this added information, doctors can help ensure the correct treatment is given to people at high risk and prevent unnecessary testing, medication and costs for lower-risk patients.
Narendra Varde, General Manager and Country Head at Abbott’s Diagnostics business, explains how the test will be introduced in India, "As we launch our test this week during World Heart Day, Abbott will work with physicians and laboratories in India to determine how this could fit within their existing practices for prevention or annual health check-ups. Given the burden of cardiac disease in India, this test that can be added to doctors' current standards of care during a routine health check-up to help transform preventive care."
"We finally have a heart-specific tool when trying to determine a patient's chances of developing heart disease," said Agim Beshiri, M.D., senior medical director, global medical and scientific affairs for Abbott's diagnostics business. "This advancement has the potential to transform how doctors and patients prevent heart disease. Because the high sensitive troponin-I test can be part of any routine health check, it fits easily into existing healthcare practices."
GETTING TO THE HEART OF HEALTHCARE: ACCURATE AND TIMELY DIAGNOSIS
In addition to more accurately determining a patient's cardiac risk, Abbott's High Sensitive Troponin-I test is designed so that biotin doesn't affect test results. The vitamin biotin is growing in popularity as a supplement to improve hair, skin and nails. Yet biotin may interfere with some lab tests, including cardiac ones, potentially leading to false positive or false negative results. Having an accurate picture of a patient's cardiac risk can help physicians ensure that each patient is getting the correct treatment.
The High Sensitive Troponin-I test is now available for use in India, Europe and in other countries that recognize CE Mark.