Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the single greatest cause of adult mortality in the western world and, consequently, places a massive burden on healthcare services and the economy. Lifestyles, lack of clearly defined risk assessment criteria, consistently high incidences of misdiagnosis and inappropriate referrals, all contribute significantly to this problem. It also correlates directly with inefficient or non-accessible early detection systems. Over the last decade much research has focused on the identification of cardiac biomarkers that can be used for the detection of cardiac distress and that add value to current risk stratification criteria. An exposition of some of the most consistently cited biomarkers is provided and their current status and potential value as early CVD risk predictors, more accurate diagnostic markers of acute myocardial damage and as reliable prognostic indicators, is evaluated. The particular importance of early prediction and the integral role that point-of-care (POC) testing is expected to play in the future of cardiac care is critically discussed.
Dublin City University ->