Dentists can help determine cardiac risk

Dentists can do much to help identify patients at risk for fatal heart attacks and referring them on for further care, according to new research presented this week at a professional meeting.

Swedish researchers are recommending that dentists use HeartScore, software which calculates the 10-year risk of a patient's dying of a heart attack. HeartScore measures cardiovascular risk in people ages 40 to 65, looking at factors such as age, gender, blood pressure and whether or not they smoke.

They're recommending that if they find patients with HeartScores of 10 percent or higher (10 percent risk of having a fatal heart attack or stroke within 10 years) to refer the patients to seek further care.

Researchers made this recommendation at the European Society of Cardiology.

To learn more about this study:
- read this UPI piece

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