Study: 5 health indicators predict cardiovascular risk

A team of international researchers determined five health indicators can be used to predict cardiovascular risk without obtaining a blood sample, New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System announced Nov. 13.

The study was part of a collaboration between the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Spain and the Framingham (Mass.) Heart Study. For the study, the researchers followed 3,983 middle-aged participants for 10 years.

The research, carried out at Madrid, Spain-based Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III, evaluated the Fuster-BEWAT score's ability to predict asymptomatic atherosclerosis in middle-aged patients without a known history of cardiovascular disease. The score stands for blood pressure, exercise, weight, alimentation (or fruit and vegetable intake) and tobacco status.

The researchers' findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology Nov. 13, noted the Fuster-BEWAT score was as effective at predicting cardiovascular risk as the American Heart Association-recommended Ideal Cardiovascular Health Index, which includes a blood analysis. Researchers concluded the score may be an affordable alternative to ICHS for patients in developing countries without access to lab analysis.

"The Fuster-BEWAT score is an easy, painless, inexpensive tool that could be implemented in resource-constrained healthcare settings to identify individuals with a high likelihood of subclinical atherosclerosis at whom preventative management strategies can be directed," said the study's corresponding author Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, director of Mount Sinai Heart and physician-in-chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital.

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