LONDON, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Researchers have discovered that they could use two biomarkers to identify a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation in patients who have three "clinical risks", according to a study released on Monday by the University of Birmingham.
Patients with three "clinical risks" are deemed to be more at risk of atrial fibrillation, which is the most common heart rhythm disturbance.
The study, carried out by a team from the university, said that such patients could be screened for atrial fibrillation (AF) by testing their blood to see if they have elevated levels of two biomarkers -- a hormone secreted by the heart called brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and a protein responsible for phosphate regulation called fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23).
The biomarkers we have identified have the potential to be used in a blood test in community settings to simplify patient selection for ECG screening, said the study's first author Yanish Purmah at the university.
The research is ongoing and next steps will involve follow-up appraisals of the patients recruited to the study in order to further improve the prevention and treatment of atrial fibrillation, according to the team.
"The study may pave the way towards better detection of people with AF and their targeted treatment with blood-thinning medicines for the prevention of stroke and its devastating consequences," said Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation.