The electrocardiogram also known as ECG or EKG is a diagnostic tool that measures and records the electrical activity of the heart in exquisite detail Press TV reported.
A new investigation by scientists of the University of California, San Francisco showed that older people who had minor ECG abnormalities at the start of the study had a 35 percent higher risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).
The study which reviewed health data of over 3,000 adults, also disclosed that those with major ECG abnormalities had a 51 percent higher risk of CHD, says the article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
“We analyzed data from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study,” said lead researcher Dr. Reto Auer. “More than 3,000 patients had an electrocardiogram done at baseline, but we only included the people who didn't have a previous history of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease, so no heart attacks or strokes."
Risk prediction with traditional risk factors is less accurate in older people compared with middle-aged adults, said researchers suggesting ECG as a potential screening test for elders.
“Given the safety, the low cost, and the wide availability of ECG, ECG data might be useful to improve coronary heart disease risk prediction in older adults,” concluded Dr. Auer and colleagues but emphasized that randomized trials should be conducted before making such screening part of the routine heart disease screening tests.