Blood tests are useful in screening for heart failure and to look for possible causes or triggers.

High levels of BNP in your blood have been linked with heart failure and the test is useful in both diagnosis and management decisions. Recently, measurement of BNP or N-terminal BNP has become routine in assessing the diagnosis and severity of heart failure and the test is readily available. A normal BNP in a patient who hasn’t been treated for heart failure indicates that there are most likely other causes for your symptoms.

A blood sample will be taken from you by a doctor, nurse or phlebotomist (healthcare professional who specialises in taking blood samples). They will be looking for signs of anaemia, diabetes, problems with your liver or kidneys, thyroid function and levels of natriuretic peptides (BNP).

Conditions such as anaemia, diabetes, reduced kidney function and abnormal thyroid function are all conditions that can either cause or complicate heart failure.

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