Accurately predicting the likelihood of readmission or even death following a heart attack is now more possible, according to recently published findings by the Christchurch Heart Institute (CHI).
The University of Otago, Christchurch-based team is internationally recognised for its research into A and B-type natriuretic peptides, (ANP and BNP); particularly for bringing BNP into regular medical use identifying heart damage.
Professor Eric Espiner said in collaboration with the Auckland Heart Group, the CHI team studied C-type natriuretic peptides (CNP) in 2,129 people admitted to hospital with heart attack symptoms. Post discharge, the patients’ heart function and hormone status was monitored for an average of four years.
“While raised levels of ANP and BNP indicate heart damage, CNP relates more to blood vessel damage, caused by, for example, high blood pressure and/or cholesterol. In patients with unstable angina, the level of CNP predicts readmission rates and mortality whereas the cardiac hormones (ANP and BNP) predict complications after a full blown heart attack, he said.
The study results were recently published in Clinical Chemistry.
Professor Espiner said the CHI team believe the CNP test will also likely predict vascular degenerative disease prior to an actual cardiac event.
“Vascular degenerative disease is the common denominator of a vast number of health problems facing the western world: Stroke, heart attack, renal failure and is a common complication of diabetes. As a vascular marker it is important in predicting potential cardiac problems further down the line.”
The CHI team will continue to research the potential of a CNP test for use in hospitals around the globe.
Professor Mark Richards is director of the CHI, and led the collaborative Christchurch/Auckland research project. Dr Tim Prickett of the University of Otago, Christchurch was an author on the study.
The research was funded by the Health Research Council and the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand.
For further information, contact:
Paula de Roeper
Christchurch Heart Institute Communication Manager