WELLINGTON, March 3 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand scientists claimed Friday to have identified a hormone that can help accurately predict the likelihood of readmission to hospital or even death after a heart attack.
The research led by the University of Otago's Christchurch Heart Institute (CHI) studied C-type natriuretic peptides (CNP) in 2,129 people admitted to hospital with heart attack symptoms.
The team is internationally recognised for its research into A and B-type natriuretic peptides (ANP and BNP), particularly for bringing BNP into regular medical use identifying heart damage.
After their discharge, the patients' heart function and hormone status was monitored for an average of four years, Professor Eric Espiner said in a statement.
"While raised levels of ANP and BNP indicate heart damage, CNP relates more to blood vessel damage, caused by, for example, high blood pressure and/or cholesterol," said Espiner.
"In patients with unstable angina, the level of CNP predicts readmission rates and mortality whereas the cardiac hormones (ANP and BNP) predict complications after a full blown heart attack."
The CHI team believed the CNP test would also likely predict vascular degenerative disease prior to an actual cardiac event.
"Vascular degenerative disease is the common denominator of a vast number of health problems facing the Western world -- stroke, heart attack, renal failure -- and is a common complication of diabetes," he said.
"As a vascular marker it is important in predicting potential cardiac problems further down the line."
The CHI team would continue to research the potential of a CNP test for use in hospitals around the globe.