Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low Risk For Heart Attack? Could An Ultrasound Hold The Answer?

Date:
November 16, 2008
Source:
Baylor College of Medicine
Summary:
By adding the results of an imaging technique to the traditional risk factors for coronary heart disease, doctors found they were able to improve prediction of heart attacks in people previously considered low risk.

By adding the results of an imaging technique to the traditional risk factors for coronary heart disease, doctors at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found they were able to improve prediction of heart attacks in people previously considered low risk.

The findings were presented November 11 at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

Researchers used ultrasound imaging to view the carotid intima media thickness (C-IMT), or thickness of the artery walls.

"The ultrasound added another dimension to the risk factor score and showed us that those with thick arteries in the higher end of low risk group actually are at intermediate risk for coronary heart disease," said Dr. Vijay Nambi, assistant professor of medicine - atherosclerosis and vascular medicine at BCM and lead author of the study.

Risk prediction is traditionally divided into three groups: low, intermediate and high risk. Low risk is defined as having a less than a 10 percent chance of having coronary heart disease in the next 10 years. Intermediate is a 10 percent to 20 percent chance of a coronary event, and high risk is anything greater than 20 percent. This percentage is calculated by doctors using a score based on traditional risk factors which include age, gender, HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), total cholesterol, hypertension and smoking.

Nambi and his colleagues followed more than 13,000 people already taking part in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, a large scale study designed to investigate the etiology and natural history of atherosclerosis. Participants in the current study were followed for almost 14 years. After adding imaging to the traditional risk factors, those in the higher end of the low risk group (estimated 10-year risk of 5 percent to 10 percent) were found to have a greater chance of having a heart attack especially if imaging revealed them to have a thicker C-IMT. Nambi said that about 4 percent of those who fell in the zero percent to 5 percent estimated risk had a heart attack, while more than 13 percent of those in the 5 percent to 10 percent suffered from coronary heart events. Furthermore, he pointed out that in the 5 percent to 10 percent risk group, those with the thickest arteries had approximately a 17 percent risk for coronary heart events when followed for 14 years.

"There is a big difference between 4 percent and 13 percent," said Nambi. "These results show us that we need to take a closer look at some of those individuals in the low risk category and even reconsider the definition of "low risk."

"Our goal is to target those in the most need," said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, chief of atherosclerosis and vascular medicine and professor of medicine at BCM. "Being able to pinpoint those more likely to have a heart attack will allow us to take early, more effective preventive action to stop a heart attack before it happens."

Ballantyne, a co-author in this study, is also the director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.

Others who took part in the study include Drs. Lloyd Chambless, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Aaron R. Folsom, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Yijuan Hu, University of North Carolina; Tom Mosley, University of Mississippi Medical Center; and Kelly Volcik and Eric Boerwinkle, both of The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston.

The ARIC study is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Baylor College of Medicine. "Low Risk For Heart Attack? Could An Ultrasound Hold The Answer?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111183029.htm>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2008, November 16). Low Risk For Heart Attack? Could An Ultrasound Hold The Answer?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111183029.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. "Low Risk For Heart Attack? Could An Ultrasound Hold The Answer?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081111183029.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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