Heart Attack Risk Assessment – Everyone Needs One

MedPage, an online medical news service is reporting that the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EuroPrevent), currently meeting in Dublin, Ireland, has called for a once in a lifetime cardiac assessment for all men over age 40 and all women over age 50.

Ian Graham, MD, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Trinity College suggests that we use “age risk terminology,” as it is far easier to understand.  For example, it has been concluded that most 30 year olds are low risk, by virtue of their age, for the presence of cardiovascular disease. “If that 35 year old is a smoker, you can tell him that his risk of having a heart attack is the same as a 65 year old man. That is meaningful.”

The recommendations have been synthesized into a short 63 page document which establishes whether the evidence for each suggestion is strong, moderate or weak.  While many of the guidelines have remained the same, the new documents make it easier for health professionals to access and use the guidelines.  Your primary care physician can easily perform the cardiac assessment.