Biomarkers identified to help diagnose atrial fibrillation


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart rhythm disturbance, affecting 1.6m people in the UK.
At the moment, an electrocardiogram (ECG) is usually used to screen patients.
Blood samples were looked for 40 cardiovascular biomarkers, plus 7 clinical risk factors.
University of Birmingham found two biomarkers had a strong connection with AF.
Those most at risk of the condition were older, male and had a high BMI.
Biomarkers discovered were BNP and FGF-23.
Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a hormone secreted by the heart.
Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) is a protein responsible for phosphate regulation.
People could be screened by testing their blood for these two biomarkers.
People with atrial fibrillation are much more likely to develop blood clots and suffer from strokes.

Could enable point of care blood testing instead of current ECG screening
Read full article on BBC website
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