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Published on : Apr 04, 2014

LONDON: A simple blood test can now predict the risk of a sudden cardiac death, a research initiated by a lifespan researcher, Samuel C Dudley - from the Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island U.S, has revealed. 

An early prediction of an ailing heart by the manes of only a simple blood test can hugely help physicists in saving a patient’s life. This can be done by using the blood test in assessing the need for implanting an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) in the patient’s heart to avoid any further risk of a cardiac arrest. 

The currently employed method to assess such risks involves the measurement of the ejection fraction of blood, a fraction of blood thrown out of the heart during one heartbeat.  A patient is prescribed ICD when the ejection fraction is found below 35% as compared to the ejection fraction of a healthy heart.    

However, these assessments are not very reliable according to a recent study. It is believed that near to 60% patients who receive ICD following the current assessment criteria do not even need one. Conversely, the new blood test can more accurately determine the need for ICD in a patient. 

Sudden cardiac death represents a class of cardiac disorders wherein the heart stops functioning, causing the cut-off of pure blood to brain and other vital body organs, resulting in a sudden death within a couple of minutes. It is attributed as the reason behind an approximate 325,000 deaths in the U.S alone – every year. The rate of such incidences is also very high in India where approximately 10% of deaths due to cardiac disorders are sudden and the mean age of people who succumb to such condition is lower than 60 years.