AHA releases statement on how biomarker testing could help diagnose, treat heart failure

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A new scientific statement published by the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that innovative biomarker tests for heart failure could help physicians better diagnose and treat the condition.

The statement, published in Circulation April 26, advises physicians to test for biomarkers through blood and urine tests. Because biomarkers are released during heart failure, the AHA states they provide an effective way to gathering information about the severity of a patient’s condition.

Sheryl L. Chow, an association professor at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, led the team that wrote the statement. She argues that since more people are surviving heart attacks, resulting in more people living with heart failure, biomarker tests could help diffuse the problem as a whole.

Physicians are continuing to identify biomarkers that can help diagnose heart failure, said Mariell Jessup, MD, a heart failure expert and a former president of the AHA.

“Clearly in a disease like heart failure, there are many different patterns of clinical symptoms. Sometimes patients respond very appropriately to traditional therapy,” Jessup said in an AHA press release. “But in other patients, biomarkers might help clinicians to recognize who needs specialized care before they’re sitting in the emergency department in significant distress.”