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This One Factor Can Predict a Heart Attack, Says New Study

Knowing your risk ahead of time could save your life.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
Woman having heart attack at home

Early detection of heart disease is one of the most crucial tools in preventing serious heart-related outcomes—including heart attack. Now, a group of researchers claim that there is one key factor that may be able to predict a future heart attack or stroke, years before symptoms even arise. Read on to find out what it is—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss this urgent news: Here's How You Can Catch COVID Even If You're Vaccinated

Calcification of the Blood Vessel Wall Can Indicate You're at Risk for Heart Damage

A new study from Edith Cowan University published this week in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that people who have abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) are at two to four times more of a risk of a future cardiovascular event. Additionally, the more calcification in the blood vessel wall, the greater the risk of future cardiovascular issues. They also found that people with kidney disease and AAC are at a greater risk of cardiovascular issue than those with just AAC. 

"Heart disease is often a silent killer as many people don't know they are at risk or that they have the early warning signs, such as abdominal or coronary artery calcification," Lead researcher Associate Professor Josh Lewis from ECU's School of Medical and Health Sciences, and Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow explained. "The abdominal aorta is one of the first sites where the build-up of calcium in the arteries can occur – even before the heart. If we pick this up early, we can intervene and implement lifestyle and medication changes to help stop the condition progressing."

The study also points to factors that contribute to the condition, including poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and genetics, and hope that people will use their findings to help identify their risk early on and act accordingly. 

"Abdominal aortic calcification is often picked up incidentally in many routine tests, such as lateral spine scans from bone density machines or x-rays, and now we have a much better idea of the prognosis in these people when it is seen," he said. 

RELATED: Simple Ways to Avoid a Heart Attack, According to Doctors

This Can Signal an Early Warning for Doctors

"This can signal an early warning for doctors that they need to investigate and assess their patient's risk of heart attack or stroke. Ultimately, if we can identify this condition sooner, people can make lifestyle changes and start preventative treatments earlier, which could potentially save many lives in the future." Until then, save your own life and follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.