Magazine article Drug Topics

Framingham Risk-Analysis Software Gets High Marks

Magazine article Drug Topics

Framingham Risk-Analysis Software Gets High Marks

Article excerpt

International Medical Device Partners (IMDP), Las Vegas, is rolling out Framingham risk analysis programming software as part of its CardioVision electronic screening device that quickly measures blood pressure, pulse, and brachial artery elasticity.

The new software is based on the well-known 20-year Framingham study of Framingham, Mass., residents, which was used to develop correlations between risk factors and heart disease. The rollout of the software follows on the heels of a test of about 30 patients at Sunrise Medical Plaza Pharmacy, Las Vegas.

The software enables pharmacists to advise patients of their five- and 10-year risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). "We let them know where they stand compared with the average person of their age in the population. The Framingham software allows you to take an average patient and find his/her chances of developing cardiovascular disease based on certain risk factors," explained Steve Jorgensen, R.Ph., who heads clinical services at the Sunrise pharmacy.

The software does not diagnose disease, he emphasized. But "by taking the arterial stiffness of the patient, plugging in known HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels, the patient's age, blood pressure, and pulse pressure from CardioVision, you will get a risk factor for development of disease," he noted. "The tool enables pharmacists to see if patients are in the first stage of coronary heart disease. It gives you an idea as to what's going on with the arteries and gives patients an idea of whether they need to see a cardiologist for tests."

During testing of the software, Jorgensen said patients who showed very little risk for CAD were nonetheless advised about the importance of following low-fat diets and exercise programs. Patients who were smokers and had high risk factors such as diabetes or prior arrhythmias were referred to a cardiologist.

Jorgensen explained that by age 45 to 50, in the normal population, there's at least a 20% chance that plaque has already built up in the arteries. This decreases elasticity, and the artery can't expand as well under stress.

"With this device, what you're looking at is prevention of stroke or heart attack. What we're pointing out to patients at the time is based on today's evidence, with the risk factors they now exhibit. …

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