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ABI test found to be good indicator of heart disease


CHICAGO A meta-analysis published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined a low-ankle brachial index may be an as-good-or-better indicator of heart disease as compared to the Framingham risk score.

A review of 16 clinical trials found that ABI may improve the accuracy of cardiovascular risk prediction beyond the FRS, the researchers concluded.

The ABI is a simple, reliable means for diagnosing peripheral arterial disease. Blood pressure measurements are taken at the arms and ankles using a pencil shaped ultrasound device called a Doppler that produces sound waves and is considered noninvasive because it does not require the use of needles or catheters.

The Framingham risk score is a prediction algorithm using the following factors: age, blood cholesterol (or LDL cholesterol), HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, cigarette smoking and diabetes.

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