Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have discovered even slight changes in electrocardiogram (EKG) results could predict a significantly increased heart attack risk for older patients.
Lead researcher Dr. Reto Auer and colleagues reviewed medical records of 2,192 adults with no prior history of heart conditions between the ages of 70 and 79. They found those with even sight EKG abnormalities at the beginning of the study were 35 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack.
"We analyzed data from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. More than 3,000 patients had an electrocardiogram done at baseline, but we only included the people who didn't have a previous history of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease, so no heart attacks or strokes," Dr. Auer told usnews.com.
"We found that people who had minor or major changes in their electrocardiogram had a greater risk of heart events," Auer said. "And, when we adjusted the data for commonly known risk factors -- smoking, cholesterol, body mass and high blood pressure -- we still found an association between minor or major EKG changes and heart events."
by RTT Staff Writer
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