Navigation Links
Test for Calcium Buildup May Spot Heart Attack, Stroke Risk
Date:8/19/2011

THURSDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A calcium test performed with the assistance of a CT scanner seems to provide insight into the likelihood that certain patients at moderate risk of heart problems will have a heart attack or stroke, researchers say.

The test to detect coronary calcium can help physicians determine whether the patients should take cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce their cardiovascular risks, the study authors explained.

At issue are people who fall into the middle area between those who are at high risk of heart problems due to factors like high blood pressure and those who are at low risk. People in the so-called "gray zone" may have risk factors, such as being overweight or having high blood sugar levels, but they aren't considered in great danger.

The question is: Should those in the middle range of risk -- an estimated 6 million people in the United States -- be prescribed the anticholesterol drugs known as statins, which often work well but have side effects?

The study, published in the Aug. 19 issue of The Lancet, sought to determine whether a test of calcium in the arteries is more helpful at estimating risk than a blood test that examines levels of C-reactive protein.

The researchers tracked 2,083 people for six years. They found that 13 percent of those with the highest levels of calcium in their arteries had a heart attack or stroke during that time period. But just 2 percent of those with high levels of C-reactive protein -- and no calcium buildup -- had a heart attack or stroke.

Not everyone needs a calcium test, said lead study author Dr. Michael J. Blaha, a cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. However, he stated in a Hopkins news release, "we believe looking for calcification in coronary vessels in certain patients makes sense in order to predict who may benefit from statin therapy, because the test gets right to the heart of the disease we want to treat."

"Our data support recent American Heart Association guidelines, which say it is reasonable to order a coronary calcium scan for adults who are considered to be at intermediate risk of a heart attack over the next 10 years. A high coronary calcium score would indicate that statin therapy would likely be a useful strategy to lower that person's cardiovascular risk," study co-investigator Dr. Roger Blumenthal, director of the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at Johns Hopkins University, said in the news release.

Commenting on the study, cardiologist Dr. Vijay Nambi, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, said that most insurance companies don't cover the calcium tests, which cost in the range of $200-$400. "Sometimes people have to pay for it out of pocket," said Nambi, who thinks it's a useful test. "It helps physicians in a lot of respects."

Test results can also help patients make decisions when they're worried about taking anticholesterol drugs, Nambi added.

More information

For more about heart disease, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCES: Johns Hopkins Medicine, news release, Aug. 18, 2011; Vijay Nambi, M.D., assistant professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Vitamin D, Calcium Combo May Halve Melanoma Risk in Some Women
2. With Calcium, More May Not Be Better
3. Americans May Not Consume Enough Calcium: Study
4. Women Taking Calcium Supplements May Risk Heart Health, Researchers Say
5. IOF statement on new IOM dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D
6. Vitamin D and calcium -- updated dietary reference intakes from IOM
7. Calcium Supplements Linked to Boost in Heart Attack Risk
8. Calcium, Vitamin D Supplements OK for Arteries
9. Calcium supplements: too much of a good thing?
10. Calcium in early life may prevent obesity later
11. Calcium Scan Improves Heart Risk Prediction
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Test for Calcium Buildup May Spot Heart Attack, Stroke Risk
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... ... The Women’s Choice Award, a growing platform that gives a voice to ... Award. The identification by women of an effective new migraine relief product ... In a survey taken by the Women’s Choice Award organization, nine out of ten ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... Western North Carolina’s only ... popular international aesthetics conference for medical professionals about the positive impact Juliet™ ... his growing practice. , Dr. George K. Ibrahim shared the results ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... ... six years, Lightning Labels has sent out a call for users of its custom label ... of their designs. Submissions this year were open from May 18 to July 1 and ... of the sixth annual Photo Contest, along with the prizes they've received:, ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Nurses at Apple Rehab Watch Hill , a nursing ... and certification in Closed Pulse Irrigation™ (CPI) for wound care. This qualifies ... Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to have a CPI machine that will provide ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2017 , ... “To Walk ... radioman on a B17 bomber named Edward Koontz. “To Walk Away” is the creation ... Scranton, who has published over two hundred manuscripts in chemistry and religion, as well ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/8/2017)... Ltd. (NASDAQ/TASE: BLRX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on ... the second quarter ended June 30, 2017. ... to date: Continued ... lead project, BL-8040: Announced plans to ... stem cell mobilization treatment for autologous bone-marrow transplantation in ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... Ind. , Aug. 7, 2017 Zimmer Biomet ... musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that its Board of Directors has ... for the third quarter of 2017. ... be paid on or about October 27, 2017 to stockholders ... 22, 2017.  Future declarations of dividends are subject to approval ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) today announced that ... U.S. mesh product liability claims and that it is ... claims at reasonable values. Under the agreements, Endo will ... 2017 and continuing through the fourth quarter of 2019. ... Company intends to increase its mesh product liability accrual ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: