Prevent life-threatening heart attacks with regular screening. This press release explains why a preventive examination for coronary heart disease makes sense and which procedures are suitable for this purpose.
In order to be able to enjoy old age without worries, health is the most valuable asset. As the saying goes, "Health isn't everything - but without health, everything is nothing." Regular check-ups should be as natural as brushing your teeth, and yet many neglect their preventive care routine. Especially when it comes to cardiovascular prevention, too few patients know their personal risk, even though coronary heart disease (CHD) is the main cause of heart attacks or heart failure. Few potentially fatal diseases can be treated as effectively as CHD. Controllable factors are responsible for nine out of ten heart attacks. If you know your risk factors, you can do something for your health as a preventive measure. Exploris Health AG, a company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine, has dedicated its first product, Cardio Explorer, to precisely this indication, simplifying the lives of patients and medical professionals alike.
Check-up despite absence of complaints?
Many people would classify their state of health as quite good except for a few minor things. Especially if nothing is causing serious problems. This is precisely the crux of the matter: many heart diseases do not announce themselves obviously. On the contrary, 45% of all heart attacks are asymptomatic. So not everyone feels a chest pain as a sure indicator. In women, the proportion of heart attacks that are asymptomatic is 66%. Patients suffering from diabetes are also often asymptomatic and are therefore only detected at a late stage. Therefore, especially in the case of diseases with complex symptoms, which are favored by numerous risk factors, it makes even more sense to have one's individual risk determined. After all, freedom from symptoms does not necessarily mean health. Instead of worrying and fearing about one's own state of health, one receives certainty and the opportunity to initiate preventive measures at an early stage, because CHD is treatable and patients remain able to perform.
Infarct precursor: What is coronary artery disease?
The coronary vessels supply the heart muscle with oxygen. When the coronary arteries narrow due to deposits, doctors refer to this as coronary heart disease (CHD). Various risk factors such as smoking, lack of exercise or poor diet promote the development of deposits. In addition, age, weight, gender and any previous illnesses or family history also play a role. If you already take this wealth of potential risks into account, a check-up is advisable to find out your current risk of coronary heart disease.
CHD can occur acutely or be chronic. In the acute form, a heart attack occurs because of an occlusion caused by a blood clot in one or more coronary arteries. Myocardial infarction is a life-threatening condition in which there is a persistent reduction in the supply of blood to the heart muscle. Without rapid and effective help, the patient dies and if he/she survives, damage to the heart muscle occurs in the part no longer supplied with blood.
The good news is that hardly any other serious disease can be prevented as effectively as CHD and the associated heart attack by means of preventive examinations and changes in lifestyle. If one considers that 70% of all heart attacks are consequences of CHD, it quickly becomes clear how great the prevention potential is. With regular check-ups, patients gain certainty and options for action. After all, a diagnosis of CHD does not mean a fundamental reduction in quality of life.
Who should have a check-up?
As a general rule, prevention can save lives, even at a younger age and especially in the area of CHD. With a check-up, patients can detect the likelihood of suffering a heart attack in good time. Regular check-ups bring safety and certainty. For generally healthy people without significant risk factors, the check-up for coronary heart disease is recommended from the age of 50. This should then be repeated every 1 to 2 years. With increasing age, it is advisable to have the examination intervals more closely spaced. In the case of risk factors for coronary heart disease, such as obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or family history, it makes sense to have the individual risk assessed even earlier and monitored regularly.
Preventing heart attacks safely - a comparison of preventive examinations
Screening can save lives. However, not every examination makes sense. In the case of CHD, for example, the classic exercise ECG (also known as stress ECG) has long played the leading role in diagnostics. For the measurement of the heart rhythm and the reliable diagnosis of possible cardiac rhythm disorders, the stress ECG is well suited as a method. However, it is not suitable for identifying coronary artery disease and is therefore no longer recommended by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). In addition to a sensitivity that is too low, this method also requires physical exertion and is more time-consuming for patients. CT (computed tomography), an imaging procedure, performs significantly better in this regard. However, apart from the examination time of at least 45 minutes, the costs are considerably higher and patients are exposed to radiation. In addition, the procedure is not usually available in primary care and check-ups. A real alternative is the Cardio Explorer developed by Exploris Health AG. Cardio Explorer is a complex algorithm based on artificial intelligence that reliably calculates an individual's risk for coronary heart disease. The non-invasive test procedure delivers results that are comparable in terms of accuracy to the best imaging procedures such as a CT or MRI. This means that dangerous narrowing of the heart arteries can be reliably detected and treated in good time. For the calculation, the algorithm only needs some blood values and information from the patient. The procedure is less expensive than stress ECG or CT and requires only a few minutes of the patient's time.
Procedure of the check-up with the Cardio Explorer
Interested parties can have the Cardio Explorer Check-Up performed in various practices in Switzerland and Germany. Based on the patient's individual metabolic profile, the risk of the patient is determined by the complex AI algorithm. The big advantage for doctors and patients: The precise result does not require extensive examination, long wiring, recording and evaluation of data. A result is thus not only available quickly, but also with high reliability.
The advantages at a glance:
- Uncomplicated - one blood sample and collection of the anamnesis-related values is sufficient for the calculation
- Personalized medicine - patients learn their individual risk, even patients without symptoms can be reliably identified
- Fast - The procedure takes only 15 minutes for the patient and the evaluation takes place as soon as the blood values are available, usually within one day.
- Accurate - Cardio Explorer has accuracy comparable to the best imaging modalities, such as CT.
- Relieving the burden of care - physicians are relieved, and the right patients can be treated more quickly.
- Safe - The Cardio Explorer is approved in Switzerland and all EU countries.
- Proven - The accuracy of Cardio Explorer has already been confirmed in three clinical studies. All three studies have been published in renowned medical journals.
The Cardio Explorer fits into the current medical guidelines and opens the way to improved care in the cardiovascular field. It is easy to integrate into the daily practice of cardiac diagnostics and prevention.