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Heart Risk Can Be Predicted Without Lab Tests
Date:3/14/2008

, use of a simple non-laboratory approach, as suggested by WHO [World Health Organization], could have profound effects on the affordability and availability of an adequate screening program in developing countries," the study authors wrote. "Initial screening without blood testing could lead to the quick initiation of treatment without the added cost or inconvenience of laboratory testing, and would also keep any potential loss to follow-up due to the extra step in testing to a minimum."

However, an accompanying editorial in the journal suggested this approach may not be appropriate for people in developing countries.

"Although tools that use non-laboratory-based variables can help to improve affordability of screening programs for non-communicable diseases, they should not compromise the safety of patients. For equitable care of cardiovascular disease and other major non-communicable diseases, universal access to a set of essential interventions, including laboratory assays, may be required, even in settings with limited resources," wrote Dr. Shanthi Mendis, of the WHO in Geneva, and Dr. V. Mohan, of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in India.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about heart disease risk factors.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, March 15, 2008


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