Monday, April 4, 2011

Simple test can measure heart disease risk during sleep

Simple device that attaches to
the finger measures risk of heart disease

Simple test checks heart risks while sleeping

Researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden designed a simple and inexpensive way to find a person's risk for heart disease during sleep, using a device similar to a pulse oximeter that attaches to the finger.

Rather than just measuring oxygen saturation during sleep, the device also documents four other cardiac related changes related to pulse variations. 
Ludger Grote, associate professor at the Center for Sleep and Vigilance Disorders at the Sahlgrenska Academy and senior consultant at Sahlgrenska University Hospital said, "We believe that the patient's values reflect the risk at least as well as the individual's risk factors 'on paper'."
The scientists hope the device can also be put to use to find the effect of weight loss and exercise for reducing cardiovascular disease risks. 

The research team is designing a portable device and have started clinical studies to confirm their results. 

The results of the test that measures pulse rate, acceleration, variability, pulse wave oscillation and oxygen levels during sleep could provide a quick, simple and inexpensive way to provide heart screening to large numbers of people while they sleep.

Chestdoi: 10.1378/chest.09-3029