Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Many Healthy Young People Might Be at Risk for Heart Disease

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Many Healthy Young People Might Be at Risk for Heart Disease

Article excerpt

Even younger adults who have few short-term factors for heart disease may have a higher risk of developing heart disease over their lifetimes, according to new findings from the University of Texas. The results suggest that traditional methods of identifying heart disease risk might not adequately identify patients who actually have a higher lifetime risk.

"We found that about half of individuals who are 50 years of age or younger and at low short-term risk for heart disease may not remain at low risk throughout their lives," said Dr. Jarett Berry, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the university and lead-author of the study.

Using current 10-year risk assessment data, the authors found that more than 90 percent of patients 50 years of age and younger are considered at low risk for heart disease. However, when they added a lifetime risk model to the 10-year risk model, they found that about half of those with a low 10-year risk, but a high lifetime risk, had a greater progression of heart disease, as measured by buildup of coronary artery calcium and thickening of the carotid artery.

The short-term (10-year) risk factors were represented by the Framingham Risk Score, a tool typically used by physicians to assess risk for heart disease in patients. …

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