Intermountain develops risk assessment test for chronic conditions

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A team of researchers at Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute developed a chronic disease risk score, based on a patient's age and results from a routine blood test, according to a post on the Intermountain Healthcare blog.

The Intermountain Chronic Disease Risk Score predicts patient risk for developing chronic diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke and dementia.

In a study of more than 144,000 patients, the ICHRON prediction model was about 78 percent accurate in identifying patients who would be diagnosed with a chronic disease within three years. Seven percent of women and nine percent of men were diagnosed with at least one chronic disease in this timeframe.

"Our goal was to create a clinical tool that can be used to help identify patients who are at a higher risk for a chronic disease diagnosis and therefore need more personalized care," said Heidi May, PhD, a cardiovascular epidemiologist and lead author of the study. "For example, if the patient received a high ICHRON score, the clinician could plan to see the patient more frequently or be more aggressive with treatments."

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