Nearly Half of Adults Over 40 May Have 'Hidden' Heart Disease: Study

29 Mar 2023 • A study of more than 9,000 persons in Copenhagen, Denmark published in Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at people over 40 and their risk for heart disease. They found a significant number had not been diagnosed with heart disease, but did have subclinical obstructive coronary atherosclerosis.

In asymptomatic persons, subclinical, obstructive coronary atherosclerosis is associated with a more than 8-fold elevated risk for myocardial infarction.

How the study worked

  • In the study, researchers followed 9,533 asymptomatic persons aged 40 years or older without known cardiovascular disease to define characteristics of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis associated with the development of myocardial infarction.
  • Participants were assessed using computed tomography angiography (CTA) to diagnose obstructive coronary atherosclerosis.
  • The authors found that 54% of persons had no subclinical coronary atherosclerosis.
  • They found that 46% of persons were diagnosed with subclinical coronary atherosclerosis. (36% with nonobstructive disease and 10% with obstructive disease)

The study concludes on the note that coronary atherosclerosis may develop at an early age and remain latent for many years. Source: Annals of Internal Medicine | Read full story

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