More Accurate way to assess Cardiovascular Risks in Astronauts found

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A great deal of research is underway to develop better heart disease risk calculators for assessing major cardiovascular risks, particularly in aged patients. These have been based largely on traditional risk factors, but recent work have begun incorporating coronary artery calcification scores for assessing the risk of coronary heart diseases. Through not so popular in standard clinical practice, such a screening may be mandatory as they may prove useful for persons venturing into outer space, where any adverse cardiovascular event can jeopardize the whole mission. Scientists have been focused on building up on these scores and integrating them with conventional factors for accurately predicting the risk. Researchers in a recent study claims to develop a potential way to assess cardiovascular risk factors by doing so, which will help astronauts in NASA to accurately assess risk of strokes and other heart diseases with high accuracy within the next 10 years.

New Study Integrates Calcium Risk Scores with Traditional Risk Factors

The study is different from earlier ones as the current metric posits the average age of patients to be 51, much less than 65 in previous risk calculators. The results are published on July 31, 2018 in a peer-reviewed journal in cardiology, Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA).

The new tool developed by the researchers integrates calcium risk scores with traditional risk factors such as high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and elevated blood pressures. The results will prove crucial to NASA astronauts where such a screening can help in better decision making in missions.

Findings to have Potential Applications for Cardiovascular Treatment Strategies at Earth

The findings can have large implications for terrestrial medicine as well, since they will expand our understanding of coronary artery calcification. Clinicians by using the risk calculators will be able to identify patients who need intensive treatments, according to a cardiologist at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease in Baltimore not associated with the study. However, the full impact of such a screening in the overall risk prediction tools will be gauged in the coming years.

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