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BNP can be used to screen heart failure risk

B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) testing is feasible to use as a screening tool in general practice to identify patients at risk of heart failure, new research concludes.

University of Oxford researchers screened 759 patients over 65 with either diabetes or ischaemic heart disease in 12 general practices in the UK.

The study, published in the June issue of the British Journal of General Practice, found one in 10 patients screened had a persistently raised plasma BNP concentration. Adjusting drugs prescribed to these patients reduced their risk of mortality by 13%.

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