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Non-lab method can assess heart attack risk: Study

NEW DELHI: Non-lab based risk assessment can be a good way to screen people for cardiovascular diseases when lab facilities are not available, says a study published in the journal Global Heart.

The study was based on a comparative analysis of lab-based and non-lab based parameters to assess cardiovascular disease risk in more than 1,000 individuals from Ballabgarh in Haryana. It found that both risk charts threw up similar results. The non-lab based risk chart factors in a patient’s age, sex, smoking status, systolic blood pressure and BMI.

The lab-based risk assessment requires information on age, sex, smoking status, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, and total cholesterol values to estimate the CVD risk in an individual.

The Global Heart study found that both the risk charts resulted in throwing up similar results. Out of the 1,018 participants, low CVD risk (

According to the study, hypertension (39.4%) is the most common non-lab risk factor followed by overweight (34.1%), current smoking (23.6%), and hyper-cholesterolemia (18.7%) that is associated with the disease.

The researchers from AIIMS community medicine and WHO say a stepwise approach can be considered starting with non-lab risk assessment and followed by laboratory-based risk – this will help in optimising resources. “Additionally, the non-laboratory risk charts can be used for education and advocacy regarding total CVD risk in areas where lab testing remains currently unavailable,” they add.

Drug therapy and counselling for individuals with high risk of developing fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a World Health Organization (WHO) best-buy intervention.

CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

According to the WHO, in 2016 India reported 63% of total deaths due to non-communicable diseases, of which 27% were attributed to CVDs. “CVDs also account for 45% of deaths in the 40-69 year age group,” the UN health body says. It adds that individuals at risk of CVD may demonstrate raised blood pressure, glucose, and lipids as well as overweight and obesity.

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