- Reviewed by Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
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.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
About the Reviewer
Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.