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Thursday, February 5, 2015

New Blood Test Tells Black Women If They Will Have A Heart Attack -- But Why Just Black Women?

Black woman being diagnosed for heart attack

Over 385,000 people each year in the U.S. die from coronary heart disease. It is still the number one cause of death in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most frightening part of this disease is that so many people can die from a heart attack suddenly with no previous indications they had any heart problems.

The good news, however, is that a new blood test has just been approved by the FDA that can actually indicate the chances that a healthy person will have a heart attack.

Especially effective on black women

The FDA approved test is particularly effective on women, especially black women, because they have an increased rate of heart attack and other heart disease-related health events when their blood levels of Lp-PLA2 go above a specific level.

How does it work?

It works by tracking inflammation of the vessels, a precursor to clogged arteries and increased risk for heart attack. It is designed for use on healthy patients who have had no history of heart disease.


The test tracks what researchers refer to as Lp-PLA2. According to the FDA, "Patients with test results that show Lp-PLA2 activity greater than the level of 225 nanomoles per minute per milliliter are at increased risk for a [heart disease] event." Tracking vascular inflammation is important because it is associated with plaque buildup in the arteries which can cause sudden heart attacks.

The test was the result of research involving 4,600 people aged 45 to 92 with no prior history of heart disease. Research patients who were part of the study were analyzed for over five years.

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