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February 28, 2011

Usefulness of Novel Screening Tests for Cardiovascular Disease

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(4):284-285. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.543

The recent proliferation of circulating, genetic, and imaging biomarkers of cardiovascular disease has generated enthusiasm that widespread screening might help to identify individuals before they present with an acute event. The rationale for screening seems compelling. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in this country. It is characterized by a long latent period, punctuated by acute events that can lead to substantial morbidity and mortality. Institution of aggressive risk factor modification, coupled with pharmacologic therapy in the right individuals, can reduce this risk. However, assessment of traditional risk factors, such as hypertension, smoking, and hyperlipidemia, does not identify everyone who will have an event.1

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