AI Can Predict if You'll Have a Heart Attack in the Next 10 Years - Even If You Have No Symptoms

A new AI tool can predict 10-year heart attack risk in chest pain patients using cardiac CT scan data, enabling better diagnosis and treatment as per UK research.
AI Predicts Your 10-Year Heart Attack Risk Better Than Doctors Can - But Should We Trust It?

AI Predicts Your 10-Year Heart Attack Risk Better Than Doctors Can - But Should We Trust It?

KEY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Innovative AI tool predicts 10-year heart attack risk, offering new hope in cardiac care.
  • Oxford study reveals AI's potential in preventing heart attacks and cardiac deaths.
  • AI-based technology set to revolutionize treatment plans for chest pain patients.
An artificial intelligence (AI) based tool that can accurately predict 10-year risk of heart attack could significantly improve clinical management of chest pain patients, suggests a new study from the UK.

Assessing Risk Beyond Artery Blockages

Currently, patients undergoing cardiac CT scans are assessed primarily for blockages in coronary arteries. However, research shows that inflamed or ruptured plaque in arteries can cause heart attacks even without severe blockages.
The study analyzed data from over 40,000 patients who underwent CT scans at 8 UK hospitals. The researchers found that patients with inflamed vessels had over 10 times higher risk of cardiac death versus those with lower inflammation, irrespective of blockages.

Harnessing AI to Predict Risk

To leverage this insight, the team developed an AI tool trained on artery inflammation patterns, blockage severity, and other clinical risk factors. Results showed the tool could independently predict future cardiac events and deaths.
As Prof. Charalambos Antoniades, study lead, explained, "Our study found that some patients presenting in hospital with chest pain – who are often reassured and sent back home – are at high risk of having a heart attack in the next decade, even in the absence of any sign of disease in their heart arteries."

Transforming Clinical Practice

In a pioneering real-world pilot, AI-generated risk scores were provided to clinicians for 744 patients. This led to improved treatment plans in 45% of cases, ensuring preventive care for high-risk individuals.

Significant Health and Economic Impact

The researchers estimate nationwide implementation could prevent over 20% of heart attacks and 8% of related deaths and strokes. It is also highly cost-effective for healthcare systems.
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