STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Dentists can play key roles in identifying people at risk of fatal heart attacks and referring them for further evaluation, doctors in Sweden suggest.
Dentists are encouraged to use HeartScore, a computerized system that calculates the risk of a person dying of a heart attack within a 10-year period, the European Society of Cardiology said in a release Thursday.
HeartScore measures cardiovascular disease risk in people ages 40-65 by factoring the person's age, sex, blood pressure and smoking status.
People with HeartScores of 10 percent or higher, meaning they had at least a 10-percent risk of having a fatal heart attack or stroke within a 10-year period, were told by dentists to see a doctor about their condition.
Using HeartScore, which was tested in Sweden, dentists can identify patients who are unaware they need medical intervention, the American Dental Association said in a release Thursday.
Dentists "may find themselves in an opportune position to enhance the overall health and well-being of their patients," the association said.