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White Cells Count Can Predict Heart Attack Death Risk,,

A simple blood test can give clue if the heart attack patients should get an immediate procedures to open clogged vessels and restore blood flow to their hearts.

Cleveland Clinic cardiologist, Dr. Deepak Bhatt analyzed medical records of more than 12,000 heart disease patients and found that patients whose white blood cell count is in what is considered a "high normal range" have a much higher risk of death after a heart attack than patients with lower white blood cell counts.

But patients with elevated white blood cell counts who had previously undergone bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty to open clogged vessels such a risk of death was cut by half. "A normal white blood cell count is in the range of 3,000 to 10,000," said Bhatt. "In our study about half of the patients in the top 25 percent were at the top of that normal range and half were higher."

Bhatt, presented the study detailing his finding at the American Heart Association meeting recently. He said, "The Cleveland Clinic now considers white blood cell levels as a factor in deciding which patients should go immediately to the cath lab,". He added that not all heart attacks are the same, Patients who have heart attacks that produce one type of electrocardiogram tracing called "non-Q-wave myocardial infarction" are treated either with procedures such as balloon angioplasty or bypass surgery or are managed with medications that relieve their chest pain.

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