- The new Intermountain Chronic
Disease Risk Score, or ICHRON is developed by combining results from
routine blood tests and the patients' age.
- It predicts a person's chance of
developing a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease within three
years of the test.
- ICHRON can be used to identify
patients who are at a higher risk of developing a chronic disease and who
need more personalized care.
A score that measures the future risk of
chronic disease, has been developed by combining data from routine blood tests
and the age of the primary care patients.
team from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in
Salt Lake City has termed this
score as the Intermountain Chronic Disease Risk Score, or
ICHRON. It can predict a person's risk of first diagnosis of the most common
chronic diseases within three years.
‘Intermountain Chronic Disease Risk Score or ICHRON predictions are 77% to 78% accurate in identifying patients who are likely to be diagnosed with a chronic condition within three years.’
risk score is a simple and inexpensive means to help people improve their
prevent or manage chronic conditions.
also bestows them with the benefit of better emotional and psychological health
that result from a healthier
The ICHRON score helps in identifying
those patients who are likely to be diagnosed with a chronic disease within
three years of testing, with 77%-78% accuracy.
"Our goal was to create a clinical
tool that's useful, easily obtainable and doesn't slow the work-flow of our
clinicians," said Heidi May, PhD, MSPH, principal investigator of the the
study, and a cardiovascular epidemiologist with the Intermountain Medical
Center Heart Institute.
In the United States, more than half of
the adult population suffers from one or more chronic diseases. It is the leading cause
of death and disability.
Most common chronic diseases include diabetes,
kidney failure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart
failure, peripheral vascular disease, atrial fibrillation, stroke, dementia, arthritis, cancer and
chronic obstructive pulmonary
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney
, blindness, and lower-limb amputations among adults.
is another serious emerging health issue. In the year 2009-2010, around 78
million people were obese.
to CDC estimates, in 2010, chronic diseases were among the top
10 causes of death. In 2012, an estimated 117 million people had been diagnosed
with one or more chronic health conditions.
It is predicted that there will be a 40%
increase in the burden of chronic disease cases in the next 10 years.
to WHO, 80% of the deaths related to chronic diseases occurs in the middle and low income countries.
A primary care population consisting of
both male and female patients who had no history of a chronic disease, were
ICHRON was developed among one set of
primary care patients, and then tested in a second, independent primary care
Women who had a moderate ICHRON score
were three times more likely to be diagnosed with a chronic disease in 3 years,
compared to those with a low ICHRON score, while those who had a high ICHRON
score were 11 times more likely to be diagnosed.
Men with a moderate score were 5.6 times
more likely to be diagnosed with a chronic disease within three years, and
those with a high ICHRON score were 14 times more likely to be diagnosed,
compared to those with a low ICHRON score.
"We hope ICHRON can be used to help
identify patients who are at a higher risk for a chronic disease and therefore
need more personalized care. For example, if a patient received a high ICHRON
score, the clinician could plan to see the patient more frequently or be more aggressive
with treatments," she said. "Or if the patient had a low ICHRON
score, they could potentially be seen less often or their care providers could
forego a test they were considering."
Benefits of ICHRON Score
Major potential benefits include:
- Patients will learn to
manage or avoid risk of chronic diseases by living healthier lives.
- The score will help them
avoid serious complications such as heart attacks or strokes that result from
uncontrolled chronic diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes.
- The health care costs
will decrease dramatically.
"It's a lot less expensive to help
patients improve their lifestyles than it is to treat a heart attack -- and
that's in addition to all of the physical and emotional benefits that result
from healthier lifestyles," said Dr. May. "The ICHRON tool supports
Intermountain Healthcare's system effort to use preventive medicine to improve
people's health and control healthcare costs."
ICHRON is designed to be calculated by a
hospital's electronic health record at low incremental expense.
The results of the Intermountain Medical
Center Heart Institute study will be presented at the American College of
Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session in Washington, D.C.
- Chronic Disease Overview - (https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/)
- Chronic diseases and health promotion - (http://www.who.int/chp/en/)