PREDICTING HEART FAILURE DECLINE
CAN A SIMPLE BLOOD TEST ALERT PHYSICIANS THAT PEOPLE WITH HEART FAILURE ARE AT RISK? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A protein with the almost unintelligible name of ‘N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, abbreviated NT-proBNP, is one marker found in blood that indicates a heart in distress. Now Henry Michtalik and colleagues at Johns Hopkins have shown that when blood levels of this marker fall by less than 50% while a patient with heart failure is hospitalized, that person is at risk for relapse or death, and he thinks patients with the condition should be paying attention.
MICHTALIK: I think a more informed patient is obviously a lot more powerful and more able to participate in their care. We did specifically look at readmissions itself and looking within the thirty day window after discharge and we saw that just looking for readmission within thirty days that a change of less than 50% was associated with 42% increased risk of being readmitted within the first 30 days. :25
So if you have congestive heart failure, ask about what your measurements of NT-proBNP show. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.