DOCTORS in Gosport have introduced a new test which could increase the life expectancy of people diagnosed with heart failure.
All 11 GP practices in the town have started using the Brain Natriuretic Peptide tests, which help diagnose heart failure and deep vein thrombosis.
In Gosport, four in every 100 patients aged over 76 are affected by heart failure.
Nearly 200 patients from the town are referred to hospital each year but heart failure is only confirmed in 40 per cent of them.
Dr Ian Bell, of the Lee-on-the-Solent Medical Practice, said: ‘This new service will help practices risk-assess patients who may have suffered heart failure and would otherwise have had to have been referred to the cardiac service at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
‘This will hopefully provide a welcome local service for Gosport residents and relieve pressure on the hospital.’
The scheme has already been running in Fareham for more than a year.
The test involves analysis of blood samples.