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Calcium score may foretell heart risk better than genetic test – Harvard Health

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Specialized tests may help doctors better determine a person’s risk of developing heart disease. A new study suggests that one such test, a calcium score (which quantifies the plaque inside the heart’s arteries), appears to improve risk assessment, while a gene-based risk score does not.

The study, published in the May 23/30, 2023, issue of JAMA, included 3,208 adults from two large studies; none had heart disease at the outset. For each participant, researchers calculated a traditional heart disease risk score based on factors such as body mass index, blood pressure, and cholesterol values. Participants got CT scans to determine their calcium scores. They also got a polygenic risk score, which relies on a blood test that detects multiple genetic variants associated with heart disease.

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