Blood tests reliably detect a heart attack

August 26, 2009 1:52:15 PM PDT
There are two new studies showing that a newer generation of blood tests can quickly and reliably detect a heart attack. Researchers say this finding comes at a time when current tests are not definitive.

The newer, sensitive tests give a much better way to tell who needs help fast, soon after someone has chest pains. These tests do the same thing as older versions, detecting levels of a heart muscle protein know as troponin, but they are just much more sensitive.

Doctors reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine say the new tests cost about the same as older versions and are usually covered by insurance.