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Heart Health

05 October 2009

Testing for silent heart disease

A simple test that detects blockages in coronary arteries may help doctors identify patients with "silent" heart disease without requiring major new medical expenses.

A simple test that detects blockages in coronary arteries may help doctors identify patients with "silent" heart disease without requiring major new medical expenses.

Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Still, "over half of patients who suffer heart attacks have no warning that they have heart disease until the heart attack occurs. If we knew the patients were at risk, current treatments could prevent the majority of these unnecessary events," according to Dr Daniel Berman, chief of cardiac imaging at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center of Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles. "We had to address the concerns about unnecessary testing and costs related to this potentially lifesaving procedure," he said in a news release from Cedars-Sinai.

Less expensive screening
In the new study, researchers performed the scan on 1,361 volunteers who were at intermediate risk of heart disease (neither high nor low risk) and followed them for four years.

QUIZ: Assess your heart disease risk

 

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