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Two-in-one test "has the potential to save lives"

Two-in-one test
4th December 2007

A new two-in-one test has the potential to save lives of heart attack victims, according to new research.

The test pairs two sets of findings to doctors to identify patients who face the most risk after an initial heart attack.

According to the NHS, approximately 300,000 people suffer from a heart attack each year.

Researchers at the University of Calgary's Libin Cardiovascular Institute in Canada found that by examining both the nervous system and the hearts electrical system it was easier to identify which patients were at highest risk of cardiac arrest years after they had suffered a heart attack.

Throughout the study 322 heart attack patients wore a heart monitor for between 18 and 24 hours a day to look for abnormalities in the heart's rhythm and evidence that the nervous system was on high alert.

After ten to 14 weeks doctors were able to identify those at risk of a further attack.

Dr Derek Exner said that the importance of the study was due to the fact that a single test fails to identify people most at risk.

He continued to claim that the new method could identify approximately twice as many people at risk and potentially save more lives.

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