What if a simple test can alarm you about a possible heart attack and that too within five minutes? Sounds impossible! Right?
Well, as per a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association by a group of Swedish researchers, a home test can reveal the risk of heart attack in five minutes.
“A heart attack often comes out of the blue,” says Göran Bergström, Professor of Clinical Physiology at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, senior physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and principal investigator of the study.
“Many of those who suffer heart attacks are apparently healthy and asymptomatic, but have fatty deposits in the coronary arteries, known as atherosclerosis. Our test makes it possible to identify almost two-thirds of people aged 50–64 who have significant coronary atherosclerosis and are therefore at high risk of cardiovascular disease,” he added.
The algorithm consists of 14 questions related to age, gender, weight, waist circumference, smoking, high blood pressure, high blood fats, diabetes, and family history of cardiovascular disease. According to the study, by combining information from the responses in a special algorithm, the home test can detect 65% of individuals at the highest risk of cardiovascular disease.
“We have developed a self‐report tool that effectively identifies individuals with moderate to severe coronary atherosclerosis. The self‐report tool may serve as prescreening tool toward a cost‐effective computed tomography‐based screening program for high‐risk individuals,” the researchers have said.

“Coronary atherosclerosis detected by imaging is a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk. However, imaging involves large resources and exposure to radiation. The aim was, therefore, to test whether nonimaging data, specifically data that can be self‐reported, could be used to identify individuals with moderate to severe coronary atherosclerosis,” they have said. “These tools could be directly used to identify individuals with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease or to identify individuals in whom imaging could do more benefit than harm.”
Questions like “How often do you have a drink containing alcohol (last 12 months)?”, “Number of drinks on a typical drinking day?”, “What was your approximate weight when you were age 20?”, “During the last 2 weeks, have you taken any medication for angina pectoris?”, “Chest wheezing in the last 12 months”, “Coughing phlegm, when not having a cold”, “Parental heredity for myocardial infarction”, “At what age were you diagnosed with diabetes?”, etc. were included in the self-report tool.
The data was used from the population‐based SCAPIS (Swedish CardioPulmonary BioImage Study).

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