Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ECG Tests No Better Than Routine Clinical Assessment At Predicting Future Heart Disease, Study Finds

Date:
November 19, 2008
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
ECG tests commonly given to people with suspected angina to predict the likelihood future of heart disease have limited accuracy, according to a new study.

ECG (electrocardiogram) tests commonly given to people with suspected angina to predict the likelihood future of heart disease have limited accuracy, according to a study published on the British Medical Journal website.

Alternative tests which add predictive value to that obtained from the patient's clinical history are needed to improve the chances of detecting people at higher risk of future heart disease and heart attacks, say the authors.

Angina is the most common symptom of coronary artery disease and is experienced by about 2 in every 100 people in the UK. Patients are assessed at rapid access chest pain clinics, designed to ensure that people who develop new symptoms of suspected angina can be assessed by a specialist within two weeks of referral.

Prompt assessment using ECG while patients are resting and when they are exercising is the most commonly performed non-invasive test used in suspected angina patients, but its ability to predict future heart disease is unknown.

A team of researchers led by the London Chest Hospital studied 8 176 patients with suspected angina and no prior diagnosis of heart disease, who were referred by their doctor to one of six chest pain clinics.

All the patients were clinically assessed (studying data such as age, sex, ethnicity, duration of symptoms, description of chest pain, smoking status, history of hypertension, medications) as well as having an ECG done while they were resting.

4 873 (60%) of the patients had an exercise ECG performed and were split into two groups, one comprising 4 848 patients with a "summary" result recorded, and the other with 1 422 patients who additionally had "detailed" exercise ECG data recorded. All patients were followed up for the next few years.

The researchers found that almost half (47%) of all coronary 'events' that happened to people during the follow up period occurred in patients who had had a negative exercise ECG that did not indicate any heart problems.

This suggests that exercise ECGs are limited in how accurately they predict the risk of future heart disease, say the authors.

They found that a routine clinical assessment provided almost as much predictive information about future heart problems as having a ECG. The resting ECG showed no additional benefit to the information obtained from the history and examination.

The authors conclude that ECG tests are of limited value in identifying potential future coronary problems in patients with suspected angina and no prior diagnosis of heart disease, adding little to routine clinical assessment including the patient's history and an examination.

The researchers say: "The limited incremental value of these widely applied tests emphasises the need for more effective methods of risk stratification in this group of patients."

These findings are a reminder of "the importance of taking a detailed history and making a thorough physical examination, and that additional information from the ECG is helpful in some patients but does not predict risk in everyone", says Beth Abramson, Director of St Michael's Hospital in Toronto in an accompanying editorial.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "ECG Tests No Better Than Routine Clinical Assessment At Predicting Future Heart Disease, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114081007.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2008, November 19). ECG Tests No Better Than Routine Clinical Assessment At Predicting Future Heart Disease, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114081007.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "ECG Tests No Better Than Routine Clinical Assessment At Predicting Future Heart Disease, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114081007.htm (accessed August 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. 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