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Scientists Expose Flawed Heart Attack Risk Gauge

The New York Times reports that scientists attending the annual American Heart Association meeting last weekend were surprised to find out that the Framingham calculator, currently used to evaluate the the risk of heart attack and the suitability for cholesterol treatment, is unreliable and outdated. The calculator was developed with much older data, from a period of time when the risk of stroke or heart attack was much higher, which caused an exaggeration of “the true risk of a heart attack or stroke by an average of 100 percent.” The calculator treats cholesterol alone as a basis for statin treatment, without taking into consideration other risk factors such as smoking, body weight, or blood pressure. Health care providers are urging heart specialists to create a new calculator which takes new data and other risk factors into consideration.

Read it in The New York Times.