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expert reaction to study looking at role of cardiac troponin and statin therapy in risk of coronary heart disease

Research publishing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports troponin concentration predicts risk of coronary events, is reduced by statin therapy, and change at 1 year is associated with future coronary risk independent of cholesterol lowering.


Dr Tim Chico, Reader in Cardiovascular Medicine & consultant cardiologist, University of Sheffield, said:

“When a patient has a heart attack, the level of troponin in their blood is in the hundreds or thousands due to damage of the heart muscle. This interesting study shows that in healthy people, a troponin at the upper end of the normal range (around 5-10) is associated with a higher risk of heart attack in years to come. This raises the possibility that measuring troponin can identify healthy people who are at risk of future heart attacks, and these might benefit from early introduction of drugs such as statins, aspirin, or blood pressure lowering medication. The problem with heart disease is that it remains very difficult to detect the early signs in people without symptoms, so these findings may provide a way to help identify people at risk. Nevertheless, the best way to treat heart disease is to prevent it in the first place, and this is why a healthy diet, regular physical activity, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure is so important.”


* ‘High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin, Statin Therapy, and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease’ by Ian Ford et al. will be published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology at 19:00 UK time on Monday day 19th December, which is also when the embargo will lift. 


All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:


Declared interests

Dr Tim Chico: “I am a committee member and Treasurer of the British Atherosclerosis Society, a charity established in 1999 to promote UK atherosclerosis research.”

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