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Biomarker Research Alliance for Diagnosing Heart Disease in the Ageing European Population

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New ways to detect heart problems

A critical determinant for economic growth and prosperity in Europe is healthy ageing, and by 2050, the over-60 population will double in size. Diseases affecting the heart are the leading cause of death in industrialised nations — how can heart disease be detected early?


Already due to remarkable progress in prevention and acute cardiac patient care, cardiovascular diseases now show up significantly later in life. However, when heart disease develops later it is often complicated and hidden by other diseases. The project 'Biomarker research alliance for diagnosing heart disease in the ageing European population' (BESTAGEING) is working on finding new, specific and sensitive biomarkers for diagnosis, risk prediction and treatment guidance. These new guidelines will help to accurately predict for acute and chronic cardiovascular diseases in the elderly who have other health issues. The project's strategy capitalises on extensive previous work on established biomarkers and new markers of coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction and heart failure. Expertise in assay and technology development, experience in analytical and clinical validation, and the abilities of the researchers will translate into marketable solutions of the findings. Preparatory work for the retrospective and prospective validation studies has been completed. The table of omics-based biomarkers for validation was updated with some additional markers of interest, and the definition of the clinical phenotypes addressed in BESTAGEING was refined. This phenotype characterisation is of major importance because the clinical phenotype must be very precise yet applicable for different clinical centres, for retrospective and prospective studies. Researchers are testing the cost effectiveness of novel biomarkers on European health care systems and economics. Using relevant national and international data sources and economic measures of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, activities continue for public outreach, communicating scientific work and the results of biomarker development. Ultimately, successful validation and translation into clinical application of new biomarkers is expected to strongly and beneficially impact the European population and economy. This will mean reduced health care costs, and increased quality of life and healthy years.


Ageing, heart disease, patient care, cardiovascular diseases, biomarker

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