A new study has uncovered a blood protein that is linked with a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and an increased fatality risk from other causes.
Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have identified cardiac troponin T (cTnT) as a heart-specific protein that acts as a biomarker for diagnosing heart attacks . Elevated levels of cTnT are also linked with a number of chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, heart failure and coronary artery disease (CAD).
James de Lemos, from the Medical Center, commented “In patients with chronic heart failure and chronic CAD, circulating cTnT is detectable in almost all individuals with the highly sensitive assay, and higher levels correlate strongly with increased cardiovascular mortality.”
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Associatio, involved using both the highly sensitive test and the standard test to examine levels of cTnT in a group of 3,546 people aged between 30 and 65. The highly sensitive test found the prevalence of detectable cTnT to be 25 per cent, while the standard test found 0.7 per cent. Patients then had their heart structure and function measured by an MRI .
The research revealed that there was a much bigger chance of detectable levels of cTnT being found in men than in women, in blacks as compared with Hispanics or whites, and in people that are aged between 60 and 65 than people in the 40 to 50 age bracket.

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