Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden have built a new tool to identify patients who are at high-risk of coronary artery disease and could benefit from new, intensive preventive treatments.

Coronary artery disease is characterised by arteriosclerosis that constricts coronary arteries in the heart, leading to oxygen deficiency and chest pains.

The disease is considered as one of the most common causes of death, while the risk of dying from this disease is said to vary with individuals.

In a study involving 13,164 patients with stable coronary artery disease, the researchers constructed a model that could predict the risk of dying from the disease with high accuracy.

Uppsala Clinical Research Centre Medical Sciences department Daniel Lindholm said: “This tool could make it possible to give patients with coronary artery disease a more precise and tailor-made treatment.

“The tool makes it possible to identify those who have the highest risk.”

“The tool makes it possible to identify those who have the highest risk.”

During the study, NT-proBNP and high-sensitivity cardiac Troponin T blood tests were found to reveal more prognosis information.

Present only in cardiac muscle cells, lower levels of Troponin T protein can be measured with highly sensitive methods to obtain prognostic information in a stable phase, while NT-proBNP is secreted by the heart during stressed conditions such as heart failure and stable coronary artery disease.

The researchers combined these blood tests with certain clinical factors to construct the tool, which was able to accurately predict the risk of death and onset of heart failure due to the disease.

Image: Two blood tests have been found to reveal more information about the prognosis for coronary artery disease than any other factor studied. Photo: courtesy of Uppsala University.