Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ultrasonography Predicts Heart Attack/Stroke Risk

Date:
January 7, 1999
Source:
National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute
Summary:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-supported scientists report that ultrasonography, a non-invasive test, predicts the risk of heart attack and stroke in older persons with no cardiovascular disease symptoms.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-supported scientists report that ultrasonography, a non-invasive test, predicts the risk of heart attack and stroke in older persons with no cardiovascular disease symptoms.

The test was used to measure the thickness of the walls of two arteries in the neck. The result gave vital information beyond that available from an assessment of the standard cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

The NHLBI is part of the National Institutes of Health. The finding appears in the January 7 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

"This study shows that ultrasonography has great potential in the prevention of heart attack and stroke," said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. "By identifying high risk patients, ultrasonography would allow doctors to provide aggressive treatment early."

Such treatment includes control of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, weight loss, increased physical activity, and aspirin and other drug therapies, he added.

Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death among Americans. Each year, about 500,000 Americans die of coronary heart disease and about 160,000 of stroke. One in five Americans has some form of cardiovascular disease.

Ultrasonography is a relatively inexpensive, painless test in which sound waves above the range of human hearing are sent into the neck. Echoes bounce off the moving blood and the tissue in the artery and are then formed into an image.

The test is currently used in stroke prevention to diagnose advanced disease in the carotid arteries. The new study found that the test detects disease much earlier and identifies those at risk of heart attack as well as stroke.

The study involved 4,476 men and women, aged 65 and older, drawn from the NHLBI-supported Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), a multi-center investigation of older Americans. CHS centers are in California, Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

About 40 percent of the ultrasound study's participants were men and 60 percent women. Blacks comprised about 15 percent of the participants; the rest were white. Participants were followed for an average of 6.2 years.

Scientists used ultrasound to measure the thickness of walls in the common and internal carotid arteries. The measures assessed patients' degree of atherosclerosis, a condition in which fat and cholesterol are deposited in artery walls. The walls thicken and become less flexible, and the narrowed opening impedes blood flow. If an artery becomes blocked, a heart attack or stroke can occur.

Atherosclerotic buildup is not uniform. By combining the measures from both arteries, scientists gained a more complete picture of the patients' conditions than either measure alone could yield.

Results showed that patients' risk of heart attack and stroke increased in direct proportion with the thickness of their artery walls. Those with the thickest arteries had an almost fivefold greater risk of heart attack or stroke than those with the thinnest measures.

Even after accounting for standard cardiovascular disease risk factors--such as cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes--patients with the thickest artery walls still had more than double the risk of a heart attack or stroke than those with the thinnest walls.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. "Ultrasonography Predicts Heart Attack/Stroke Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990107073939.htm>.
National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. (1999, January 7). Ultrasonography Predicts Heart Attack/Stroke Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990107073939.htm
National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. "Ultrasonography Predicts Heart Attack/Stroke Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990107073939.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins