Now a Scan to Predict Future Heart Attacks

A new scan promises to predict heart attacks years in advance.

2 min read
Would you opt for preventive scans to protect yourself from heart attacks?

A scan that predicts heart attacks years in advance could save millions of lives in India, a country that is often referred to as the heart disease capital.

More than 4000 patients who came to a clinic complaining of angina were tracked as part of the SCOT-HEART study. Angina restricts blood flow to the heart.

Half of the patients were given a type of scan called Computed Tomography Angiogram (CTA). There was a 40 per cent drop in number of patients suffering heart attacks in the next 5 years, according to the study.

Normally, if a patient is seen at risk of heart attack, they are diagnosed using an invasive test called angiogram. Tubes are inserted into the body and heart to check the flow of blood and identify any plaque deposits that might be blocking the arteries putting the patient at risk.

But these new CTA scans let the doctors look at the blood vessels from outside the body, without any invasive procedure involved. An early scan can help doctors redirect treatments and prevent any future risk of heart attacks.

In a quote to ScienceDaily, lead researcher Professor David Newby, of the BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh said,

This relatively simple heart scan ensures that patients get the right treatment. This is the first time that CT guided management has been shown to improve patient outcomes with a major reduction in the future risk of heart attacks. This has major implications for how we now investigate and manage patients with suspected heart disease.

In addition, these scans are said to be cheaper, quicker and safer options.

(With inputs from Science Daily)

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