Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center's Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, said adding the results of blood tests -- complete blood count and metabolic profiles -- to the currently used Framingham Risk Score that measures cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, age and gender substantially improved results.
The researchers were 30 percent more likely to correctly determine a woman's cardiovascular risk and 57 percent more likely to determine a man's cardiovascular risk when the Intermountain Risk Score was combined with the Framingham Risk Score. The combined results also remained substantially better than Framingham alone after one year and after five years.
"Framingham does a good job of classifying groups of patients. But it's not as good at indentifying an individual's risk for disease," principal author Benjamin Horne said in a statement. "Our research has shown that the Intermountain Risk Score really improves a doctor's ability to measure patient risk."
Horne and colleagues looked at about 5,000 patients treated for angiography or vascular imaging.
The study findings were presented at the annual scientific session of the American College of Cardiology held in Atlanta.