Clinical Research

Cardiovascular risk assessment and management using clinical scoring and biomarkers

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Cardiovascular risk assessment and management using clinical scoring and biomarkers

The prevalence of heart failure and arrhythmias are promoted by co-morbidities. Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common relevant sustained arrhythmia, is observed in more than 10% of the elderly with increasing prevalence in the overall population. The risk of embolic stroke is related to the presence of AF and co-morbidities summarized with in the clinical CHADS-VASc Score, which mandate oral anticoagulation. However, 25-40% of patients do not feel AF ("silent" AF), and the diagnosis of AF is often made too late (i.e. after a stroke has occurred). We investigate the role of clinical characteristics and biomarkers in identifying patients at risk for developing AF and other cardiovascular events to improve early management. With this aim, we recruit patients in prospective longitudinal as well as cross-sectional trials to explore clinical scores with existing and emerging biomarkers in the management of cardiovascular high risk patients.

In patients from a cardiology outpatient clinic CHADS-VASC score correlates with the prevalence of atrial fibrillation. Heinzel et al. 2013

Having identified patients at risk we want to improve screening for heart disease and silent arrhythmias. In the GRAF-Study we investigate the role of small implanted event monitors in detecting atrial fibrillation. Diagnosis of AF would necessitate therapy even if the patients remain asymptomatic.