EKG may spot heart attack risk
A simple electrocardiogram (EKG) test may predict a patient's future risk of suffering a heart attack, even if they have no other obvious risk factors for cardiovascular complications, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
A simple electrocardiogram (EKG) test may predict a patient's future risk of suffering a heart attack, even if they have no other obvious risk factors for cardiovascular complications, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings could help doctors spot patients who may benefit from a prescription to buy Plavix.
For the study, a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, administered EKG tests to more than 2,000 individuals over the age of 70. The results showed that any type of abnormality on these screenings was closely linked to a higher rate of heart attack in the future. The findings were consistent regardless of whether or not a participant had other cardiovascular risk factors.
The researchers said that EKGs are very common procedures, particularly among older patients. Understanding the potential risks associated with abnormal EKGs could enable doctors to spot and prevent many heart attacks.
"Anytime someone goes into the emergency room, especially elderly people, they typically get an EKG," said researcher Reto Auer. "So in the patient’s electronic record system, you could include these EKG abnormalities as part of the patient’s overall risk."
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