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Blood test combined with risk factor assessment accurately determines heart disease risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

U.S. researchers have reportedly developed a more accurate measurement tool to determine a patient's risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new study.

In an effort to improve upon the Framingham Risk Score, which is currently the traditional method of gauging an individual's risk of heart problems, a research team from Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, designed the Intermountain Risk Score, which assesses risk factors, but also adds the results of routine blood tests.

"Framingham does a good job of classifying groups of patients, but it's not as good at indentifying an individual's risk for disease," said Benjamin Horne, principal author of the study.

"Our research has shown that the Intermountain Risk Score really improves a doctor's ability to measure patient risk by including two simple and inexpensive tests: the complete blood count and metabolic profiles," he added.

In the study, the researchers monitored 5,000 patients who were treated for angiography. After one year of follow-up, they found that the Intermountain Risk Score was 23 percent more likely to accurately determine a woman's risk of heart disease and 46 percent more likely to correctly assess a man's risk than was the traditional measurement tool.

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