EKG Changes Identify Older Adults At Risk of Heart Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Peter Godsk Jørgensen
Copenhagen City Heart Study
Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark

Medical Research: What are the main findings of your study?

Dr. Jørgensen: In the coming decades, a larger and larger proportion of the population will be aged 65 years or above. At present, no risk prediction models have been developed specifically for estimation of risk in this population. ECG changes are easily recognized and identify subclinical signs of end-organ disease. Our data reveal that not only are ECG changes a very frequent finding that independently predicts cardiovascular disease, they significantly improve risk prediction when added to the most used European and US risk models. Thus, our data demonstrate that adding ECG changes will correctly reclassify more than one third of the persons aged 65 years and above without cardiovascular disease.

Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Jørgensen: The prognostic power of ECG changes in the population of persons aged 65 years or above is well known. However, we are the first to incorporate and validate this as a predictive model.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? 

Dr. Jørgensen: We believe, that our results offer a novel approach to risk estimation in the population of persons aged 65 years or above and that they will enable clinicians to perform more accurate decisions on primary prevention in this age group.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Jørgensen: Future research is needed to identify other risk factors to identify older individuals with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

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