Many heart problems can be avoided with relatively simple means if those at risk are detected in time. Unfortunately, the issues are often only discovered when the first symptoms appear, and at that point, it's too late to use preventive methods.
Currently, some models can predict whether a person may have problems with heart disease within five to ten years. Still, researchers at Northwestern University in the US have developed a method that can show if you are at risk 30 years in advance.
This allows doctors to implement preventive methods for young people, which today's models miss, and reduce the risk of having heart problems as middle-aged. The model provides each person an individual estimate for how high their risk level is.
"The new model gives doctors and patients new opportunities to discuss at the individual level what measures can be implemented at an early age. It provides a much better basis for creating preventative treatments than just looking at blood pressure or obesity", says Sadiya Khan, one of the researchers behind the model, in a press release.
The researchers hope that the model will get doctors to implement preventive measures much earlier than today.
"When someone shows symptoms of heart problems, it is already too late to take preventive measures, which is a big mistake because the risk of dying is 50 percent after receiving the diagnosis", says Sadiya Khan.