New blood test could predict heart attack and chance of death, new study concludes

An Australian-developed blood test could predict the long-term risk of heart attack and even death in people with severe coronary artery disease.

The test detects an enzyme called ACE2 after researchers at The Austin health and University of Melbourne showed patients with coronary artery disease who had a high levels of ACE2 circulating in the blood were more likely to die or suffer from a heart attack over a period of 10 years.

Researcher Professor Louise Burrell says the study could change clinical practice for a disease that remains the leading cause of death in Australia.

"We have come a long way in treating coronary artery disease, but certain patients continue to be at high risk of dying," Prof Burrell said.

"This new blood test helped identify such patients who may derive benefit from more aggressive treatment."

Coronary artery disease is a condition in which the heart's own blood supply is narrowed or blocked due to build-up of plaque.

It can lead to chest pain (angina), shortness of breath or a heart attack. As it progresses it may cause permanent heart damage leading to heart failure.

Researchers recruited 79 patients with coronary artery disease over the 10-year follow-up, heart failure, heart attacks and death occurred in 46 per cent of patients.

This occurred more often in those with the highest ACE2 levels, according to the findings published in journal PLOS ONE on Thursday.

Future studies are planned to investigate if more intense medical treatment in those patients will reduce the risk of death.

"If this were the case, the ACE2 blood test could be offered to all patients with coronary artery disease as part of their risk assessment," Prof Burrell said.



Police comb bushland for missing Aussie boy William Tyrell, nearly four years after he disappeared

Detectives are hoping a forensic search of bushland on NSW's mid north coast will rule out if William Tyrrell became lost and confirm suspicions he was abducted.

William was three years old when he vanished from his grandmother's yard in Kendall on September 12, 2014.

The initial search focused only on finding "a little boy lost" across about 18 square kilometres.

The new search will home in on a three sq/km zone, and every detail will be documented.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin said now was simply the "appropriate" time for a detailed search of the area.

If police manage to lay charges against one of many persons of interest, anything they find could become evidence in a criminal court case.

If they find nothing, and the rest of the investigation falls flat, the search information will be handed over to the coroner for an inquest.

About 50 officers from the public order and riot squad spent Wednesday raking through about 600 square metres of bush near Kendall with picks, hoes and shovels. Sniffer dogs were also deployed and a chainsaw on hand.

Det Insp Jubelin said time was no barrier with forensic evidence, but he held "grave, grave concerns" about William.

He believes people do know what happened to the boy and reiterated the $1 million reward for information leading to William's recovery.

The search was set to resume this morning.

William Tyrell
William Tyrell Source: NSW police


Qantas jet nosedives for 'terrifying' 10 seconds after encountering turbulence from another aircraft

A Qantas flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne was forced to make a 10 second nosedive because of turbulence from another plane, leaving passengers "terrified".

Melbourne, Australia - November 19, 2012: Qantas Airways Airbus A380 registered VH-OQF takes off as QF93 to Los Angeles (LAX) from Melbourne International Airport at Tullamarine, Victoria.
Qantas plane (file picture). Source:

The incident happened over the Pacific Ocean on flight QF94 earlier this week.

The flight was affected by turbulence from another Qantas plane - flight QF12 - as the two jets took off just minutes apart, Nine News reports.

"It was an absolute sense of losing your stomach and that we were nosediving," passenger Janelle Wilson told The Australian.

"The lady sitting next to me and I screamed and held hands and just waited but thought with absolute certainty that we were going to crash. It was terrifying."

Qantas' Fleet Safety Captain Debbie Slade says the plane are designed to handle the turbulence.

"We understand that any sudden turbulence can be a jolt for passengers but aircraft are designed to handle it safely," Ms Slade said in a statement today.

"As the Captain explained to passengers at the time, this A380 experienced a short burst of wake turbulence from another A380 flying ahead and above it."

Nine News reports it's understood Qantas have not reported the incident to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.