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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
Only 19 percent of patients with heart disease were diagnosed through routine screening before symptoms appeared, pointing to a need for better monitoring of risk factors, according to researchers.
The study was performed to see if ongoing recommendations for improved screening in the U.S. were actually finding more patients before they became symptomatic.
"Our study showed that not enough patients with heart disease are being picked up during routine screening or treatment for conditions like diabetes, which are commonly associated with heart problems," says lead author Dr Sandra J. Lewis from the Northwest Cardiovascular Institute in Portland, Oregon.
Lewis added that the results showed how important it was to test for major risk factors such as high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure. Blood tests for inflammation are also available to help predict risk.
Co-author Dr Kathleen Fox from Strategic Healthcare Solutions in Monkton, Maryland writes that, " there is a missed opportunity to diagnose heart disease during earlier, less severe stages of the disease."
Easily detectable risk factors for cardiovascular disease include weight, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and blood tests for cholesterol, triglycerides and CRP.
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