Researchers have discovered that, by considering the age of the patient and the information drawn from a straightforward blood test, it is possible to predict a person's risk of suffering from a chronic disease such as diabetes, heart attack or stroke in nearly 80% of cases.
Identifying the patients most at risk
This useful clinical tool, which is easy to reproduce and does not constitute any additional workload for general practitioners, was developed by an international team of researchers, who presented their findings to the annual American College of Cardiology (ACC) conference, in Washington.
In the United States, more than half the adult population suffers from at least one of these chronic illnesses, so researchers hope that this test can be used to help physicians pinpoint which patients have the highest risk of developing said diseases.
The number of diabetes sufferers looks set to rise by 40%
According to predictions, the number of people suffering from diabetes, coronary disease, cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack or stroke is set to rise by 40% in the next ten years in the United States.
Heidi May, epidemiologist at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City and the principal author of this study, says that this test should enable doctors to better "track" those patients who need more personalised care and more regular monitoring.