Researchers at the University of Birmingham have found two biomarkers that could be used to identify a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation in patients who have three ‘clinical risks’.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, affecting around 1.6 million people in the UK. Those with atrial fibrillation may be aware of noticeable heart palpitations, when their heart feels like it is pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly. Sometimes atrial fibrillation does not cause any symptoms and a person who has it is completely unaware that their heart rate is irregular.
Now scientists have identified patients are more at risk of atrial fibrillation if they have three ‘clinical risks’ – they are older aged, male and have a high Body Mass Index. These patients, say the scientists, could be screened for atrial fibrillation by testing their blood to see if they have elevated levels of two biomarkers – a hormone secreted by the heart called brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and a protein responsible for phosphate regulation called fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23).
The research was carried out by scientists from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences and is published today in European Heart Journal. Read the full article here.