Plethysmography test predicts risk for cardiovascular disease


A new test that predicts an individual’s risk for developing cardiovascular disease has been launched today by Everist Health.

“The test is non-invasive and painless. The test results can provide the medical professional with important new data that at the same time can be translated into simple numbers that we can all use and understand,” says Matt Bartlam, chief executive officer of Everist.

“The new test uses…plethysmography to measure the flexibility of a person’s arteries which is recognised as the best predictor of future risk. A device, known as AngioDefender, measures the percentage flow mediated dilation (FMD) of a patient’s arteries–the ability of arteries to contract and expand. This reading, together with other basic patient details such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels can then be used to quickly calculate a person’s heart age.

“So, while the medical professional gets new data–the FMD score–the individual can have their cardiovascular assessment translated into a simple heart age number that is easy for the public to relate to. If an individual’s heart age turns out to be lower than their actual age the message is to keep on doing the things that are contributing to a healthy cardiovascular system such as diet, exercise and non-smoking–but if the heart age is higher than a person’s chronological age, this can be a powerful driver of behaviour change to lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

“Although there are other ways of estimating an individual’s heart age, they tend to be based on general historical population data but importantly our test permits a personal calculation based on the individual’s actual medical information,” says Bartlam. “I believe our test will become the gold standard for measuring heart health and predicting future risk.”

According o a company releases, the AngioDefender test can reveal cardiovascular problems in people that may appear to be at low risk such as athletes or young, apparently fit, non-smokers with a healthy lifestyle.

Bartlam believes that the new test can have wide application because it is light and mobile and does not require a specially trained operator. “It can be made available to the public in a variety of non-hospital environments. We have conducted successful tests in Canada, Europe and India and it has been shown to work well in a variety of environments including corporate wellness programs in India and community care facilities and rehabilitation centres in Canada.

“At the same time researchers in the UK National Health Service are using the technology in trials where new cancer drugs are being monitored for potential cardiovascular side effects.

“I believe our technology will find wide application in countries where the hospital systems are poorly developed,” says Bartlam, who points out that interest has been shown by health workers in Africa.

Initially the test will be available in Germany, the UK, Canada and India where multiple trials are ongoing and distributors are in place.  The company plans to broaden its availability to the entire EU by 2018.  The test has also been the subject of trials in the USA which have recently been concluded. “We expect to submit our findings to the US Food and Drug Administration in the next few months,” says Bartlam.