NIH-funded study finds new possible risk factor of heart disease
Findings suggest abnormal heart rate turbulence might be significant risk factor in otherwise healthy adults.
Akinso: Abnormal heart rate turbulence is associated with an increased risk of heart disease in otherwise low-risk older individuals.
Boineau: Heart rate turbulence is a measurement that is done with a Holter monitor and it measures the body's response to an abnormal beat called the premature ventricular contraction.
Akinso: Dr. Robin Boineau is a Medical Officer at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. She says the Cardiovascular Health Study analyzed data collected from nearly 1,300 participants.
Boineau: Cardiovascular Health Study is the study of people age 65 or older that are in four U.S. communities. And data was collected on them over a period of time, and itís a Holter monitor data collected where people had to wear a device with electrodes that were on their chest. The information was collected over a 24 hour period and then that information was compared to how people did down the road.
Akinso: According to the study, heart turbulence was an even stronger heart disease risk factor than elevated levels of C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a potential heart disease biomarker that has emerged in recent years. Dr. Boineau explains the link between having an abnormal heart rate turbulence response and heart disease risk.
Boineau: If you didnít have a sign that your heart rate turbulence was abnormal you were less likely to have a cardiovascular mortality event in the near future. If you had evidence of abnormal heart rate turbulence you were more likely to have an event; cardiovascular event in the near future.
Akinso: Dr. Boineau says the study shows a great potential value for heart rate turbulence in diagnostic settings.
Boineau: If we can replicate this in other studies, we maybe able to have a new biomarker with a non evasive test, that we can do a Holter monitor on you and see if you are at increase risk for cardiovascular event therefore get you managed and treated for risk factors that are likely to contribute to a cardiovascular event.
Akinso: Risk factors for a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, are high blood pressure, high lipid levels, diabetes and obesity. For more information on this study, visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Robin Boineau
Topic: Heart Rate Turbulence
Additional Info: NIH-funded study finds new possible risk factor of heart disease