Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Assessing the real risk of heart disease in young people with low short-term risks

28.01.2009
Risk stratification has become central to strategies for the prevention of coronary heart disease, with the implication that priority is given to those at highest risk (ie, those with established heart disease).

However, such stratification using the conventional risk estimation models may not be accurately achieved in individuals without symptoms, especially those in younger age groups whose 10-year “short-term” estimated risk seems low.

For example, while the Framingham Risk Score is acknowledged as “a great advance” in the estimation of risk (and thus in the primary prevention of CHD), most younger individuals and virtually all women are defined as low risk, despite apparent and significant differences in their actual risk factor burden.

Now, a new study reported online by Circulation suggests that many younger individuals defined as low risk by conventional risk stratification methods may not remain at low risk throughout their lives.(1)

The study included 2988 individuals under 50 years of age from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study and 1076 from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Short-term (10-year) risk was assessed according to the Framingham Risk Score, but added to this risk assessment model were other factors indicative of a longer lifetime risk.(2) Combination of the two risk assessment models allowed risk stratification in three groups: low 10-year/low lifetime risk; low 10-year/high lifetime risk; and high 10-year risk or diagnosed diabetes mellitus. Baseline levels and change in levels of subclinical atherosclerosis (as represented by coronary artery calcium or carotid intima-media thickness) were then compared across the three risk groups. And results showed that those in the low 10-year/high lifetime risk group had a greater subclinical disease burden and greater incidence of atherosclerotic progression than those in the low 10-year/low lifetime risk group, even at younger ages.

“Thus, long-term risk estimates in younger patients may provide new information regarding risk prediction that is not usually available using only a 10-year risk model,” said the study’s first author Dr Jarrett Berry from UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

The main weakness of a conventional risk estimation model such as the Framingham Risk Score is the dominance of age, says cardiologist Professor Wolfgang König from the University of Ulm Medical Centre in Germany speaking on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. “It means that 90 per cent of people of a relatively younger age are defined as low risk. But experience tells us that a low short-term risk in younger subjects may not reflect their true risk. We see many young patients with an apparently low short-term risk who actually have advanced heart disease. That’s why young patients are still a challenge in cardiology.”

Professor König adds that the study raises an attractive concept in risk stratification which may well provide a mechanistic explanation for the discrepancy between “low risk” but advanced disease in young people. In public health terms, such an approach may well allow more precise differentiation between various risk groups. “The earlier we can identify risk, the higher the chance of preventing serious disease,” he says.

1. Berry JD, Liu K, Folsom AR, et al. Multi-Ethnic Study of AtherosclerosisDisease. Prevalence and progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in younger adults with low short-term but high lifetime estimated risk for cardiovascular disease. The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study and Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Circulation 2009; e-pub ahead of print, DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.800235

2. Lifetime risk was estimated according to five mutually exclusive risk factors – blood pressure, total cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and predicted risk.

ESC Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.escardio.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>