Issue 32 June 2011
1. Common Test could be indicator to Early Death in Diabetes.
      It is an established fact that diabetes lead to heart attacks. New findings from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre reveal a commonly used test to identify those at higher risk of heart attacks. "We have discovered that we can identify a subset of individuals within this high risk group who are at even higher risk using the widely available computed tomography (CT) scan -- a relatively inexpensive and non-invasive test." said Donald W. Bowden, Ph.D., the director of the Centre for Diabetes Research at Wake Forest Baptist and lead investigator.

      A high coronary artery calcium (CAC) score is known to be a strong indicator of coronary heart disease. The score provides a measure of how much coronary artery disease, or calcified "plaque" is present in the blood vessels of the heart. Plaque plays a major role in heart attacks and other vascular events and can be measured by taking a special "gated" CT scan which, in comparison to typical CT scans, uses very few X-rays, does not require any injections and generally takes less than 10 minutes to perform.

      "We saw a dramatic risk of dying earlier in the people with highest levels of calcified plaque in their blood vessels," Bowden said. "When comparing the group with the highest amount of plaque to the group that had the lowest amount of calcified plaque, the risk of dying was more than six times greater in the group with high levels of calcified plaque. The difference in risk that we revealed is striking. It's in a group of people who are already at risk, but the CAC level really rather dramatically differentiates risk between people within this high risk group. This finding could have novel clinical implications.

Read More

Previous | Home | Next