Task force finds insufficient evidence for using nontraditional risk factors to screen for coronary heart disease
Research Activities, November 2009
The current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of using several nontraditional risk factors to screen asymptomatic men and women with no history of coronary heart disease to prevent coronary heart disease events. That's the conclusion of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in its new recommendation. The nontraditional risk factors included in the recommendation are: high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, ankle-brachial index, leukocyte count, fasting blood glucose level, periodontal disease, carotid intima-media thickness, coronary artery calcification score on electron-beam computed tomography, homocysteine level, and lipoprotein(a) level. The recommendation is published in the October 6 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine and can be viewed on the AHRQ Web site at www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspscoronaryhd.htm. The USPSTF is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force, which is supported by AHRQ, conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services.