(NAPSI)—Chest discomfort. Heartburn. Tightness or pressure in the throat, jaw, shoulder, abdomen, back or arm. What medical condition could these symptoms be associated with? The answer may surprise you.

The answer is a common heart disease called obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD).

“Obstructive CAD is a blockage of the heart arteries and it can be very serious,” said Dr. Alan Grossman, a Medical Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology at the Heart and Vascular Center of Arizona. “Unfortunately, it is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose because the symptoms are shared by many other health conditions. Diagnosing obstructive CAD in women is even more challenging because the symptoms that women experience are more diverse and less obvious than the symptoms men often exhibit.”

For many years, the standard approach to diagnosing obstructive CAD involved advanced cardiac tests that come with risks of radiation exposure and complications from invasive procedures, but an emerging field of medical research called cardiovascular genomics has given doctors a new way to decide if their patients’ symptoms are caused by obstructive CAD.

Mandy Welsheimer is glad she lives in the era of cardiovascular genomics. Heart disease runs in her family, so when she began to experience chest pain, she spoke with her doctor immediately.

“I was relieved when I learned that my risk of obstructive CAD was low,” said Welsheimer. “All it took to determine that I was at low risk was a blood test taken right in the doctor’s office—I didn’t have to run on a treadmill or do any complex follow-up procedures.”

The test Welsheimer received is a blood test that uses age, sex and gene expression (the Corus® CAD test) to calculate a single score that indicates the likelihood of the presence of obstructive CAD. Unlike a genetic test, which provides information about a patient’s lifetime disease risk, this test provides a current-state assessment of obstructive CAD by looking at age, sex and the expression of genes associated with the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Traditional tests for obstructive CAD are known to be less accurate in women, but this test accounts for cardiovascular differences between the sexes. It’s much safer for the patient and also has the benefit of saving the health system money by reducing unnecessary tests and procedures.

If you are concerned about the symptoms of obstructive CAD, talk with your doctor.

For more information about the blood test, visit www.cardiodx.com.

Fast Facts

• One in seven deaths among Americans is caused by CAD.1

• Diagnosis of obstructive CAD is more difficult in women because their symptoms are more diverse and less obvious.

• A new blood test called Corus CAD helps doctors identify patients who are at low risk so that unnecessary and potentially harmful cardiac tests can be avoided.

 

  1Mozzafarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2015 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015;131:e29-e322.

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