Blood test can improve prediction of heart attack, stroke

Blood Test Can Improve Prediction Of Heart Attack, Stroke

New blood tests that help identify specific features of cholesterol molecules can help improve the ability to predict who will have a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack, but the change is only slight, according to research published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Blood Test Can Improve Prediction Of Heart Attack, Stroke

Some risk factors for cardiovascular disease that you can modify by maintaining a healthy lifestyle include:

Blood Test Can Improve Prediction Of Heart Attack, Stroke

• Cholesterol level

Blood Test Can Improve Prediction Of Heart Attack, Stroke

• Tobacco use

Blood Test Can Improve Prediction Of Heart Attack, Stroke

• Blood pressure

Blood Test Can Improve Prediction Of Heart Attack, Stroke

Researchers representing the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration collected medical records containing information on risk factors for cardiovascular disease for more than 165,000 individuals without cardiovascular disease who were participants in 37 research studies. The investigators assessed whether adding information from tests that provide information about the cholesterol molecules in the blood to standard information used to predict cardiovascular risk, such as total and HDL cholesterol, improved the ability to predict who would have a fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular event.

Blood Test Can Improve Prediction Of Heart Attack, Stroke

During an average follow-up period of more than 10 years, the participants had more than 15,000 cardiovascular outcomes. While adding the new information did improve the ability to classify participants as low, intermediate, or high risk for cardiovascular events, the effect was modest. The investigators estimate that for every 100,000 adults aged 40 or older, just over 15,000 would be classified as intermediate risk using conventional risk factors. The addition of the new information would correctly reclassify only about 1 to 4% of these patients as higher risk, bumping them into a risk category for which statin drugs are recommended from one in which they are not.

Blood Test Can Improve Prediction Of Heart Attack, Stroke

Today's research is an example of how new discoveries and technologies contribute to the evolution of cardiovascular risk assessment. The value of the specific information studied here for predicting risk remains to be confirmed, however.

Blood test can improve prediction of heart attack, stroke

New blood tests that help identify specific features of cholesterol molecules can help improve the ability to predict who will have a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack, but the change is only slight, according to research published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Some risk factors for cardiovascular disease that you can modify by maintaining a healthy lifestyle include:

• Cholesterol level

• Tobacco use

• Blood pressure

Researchers representing the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration collected medical records containing information on risk factors for cardiovascular disease for more than 165,000 individuals without cardiovascular disease who were participants in 37 research studies. The investigators assessed whether adding information from tests that provide information about the cholesterol molecules in the blood to standard information used to predict cardiovascular risk, such as total and HDL cholesterol, improved the ability to predict who would have a fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular event.

During an average follow-up period of more than 10 years, the participants had more than 15,000 cardiovascular outcomes. While adding the new information did improve the ability to classify participants as low, intermediate, or high risk for cardiovascular events, the effect was modest. The investigators estimate that for every 100,000 adults aged 40 or older, just over 15,000 would be classified as intermediate risk using conventional risk factors. The addition of the new information would correctly reclassify only about 1 to 4% of these patients as higher risk, bumping them into a risk category for which statin drugs are recommended from one in which they are not.

Today's research is an example of how new discoveries and technologies contribute to the evolution of cardiovascular risk assessment. The value of the specific information studied here for predicting risk remains to be confirmed, however.

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