For about four years, Dr. Daniel Anderson has been testing people's blood. "Over 70% of people who are in their 40s have some coronary artery disease," said Anderson. "And what we aren't very good at is understanding who is at risk for having a stroke or a heart attack."
He's developing a test way beyond today's measures. "We still under-recognize a big part of the population until it is too late," said Anderson. "I think we often talk about, we're not even seeing the tip of the iceberg. In that people do well one day, and then they have the big heart attack the next day."
He wants to be able to identify those patients before something happens. "We often think in medicine that it is a failure of medicine that we let a 50-year-old die with a heart attack where we should have been much better at recognizing it before hand."
They have found success in their measurements, but more work, and more patients are needed. "Who is it that's going to have a cardiovascular event?" said Anderson. "Who is going to have a heart attack? And this is something that we aren't able to do in medicine at the current time. We can't predict that group of patients very well. We know there's a risk, but we aren't good at predicting who will have an event and who won't."