New diagnostic testing may be useful in helping doctors determine which patients are most at risk of a heart attack.
Individuals that are admitted to emergency departments complaining of acute chest pains could be tested for the presence of tropinin.
New research from University Heart Center Hamburg, Germany, found that the protein, which is found in muscle tissue, is a reliable biomarker of the likelihood of a heart attack.
Doctors explained that tests could identify which patients would benefit from early and agrresive treatment in the event of such a scenario.
The new tests are much more sensitive than methods used for assessing other biomarkers and as a result may mean doctors can help save lives.
According to the British Heart Foundation, cardiac-related diseases are some of the most pressing public health issues in the UK.
In 2009, 180,000 deaths were attributed to cardiovascular disease - a figure which relates to one in three of the total fatalities in the country.