Traditionally, one's risk for heart disease is easy for doctors to assess by looking at factors such as cholesterol, gender, age, obesity, blood pressure and smoking habits. However, a new study funded by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has found that there may be a more subtle factor to consider - abnormal heart turbulence, according to SeniorJournal.com.
This condition occurs when the heart beats too early in the left ventricle, a common problem called ventricular premature beat (VPB).
It affects many healthy people and has been found to be a cause of heart disease among seniors whose habits during retirement living are otherwise healthy.
Now that doctors know that a VPB may be an indicator of more serious conditions, it may help identify problems in the future.
"These findings suggest that apparently healthy people might be at increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and heart rate turbulence may help us identify them," acting director of the NHLBI Susan B. Shurin said, according to the news source.
A senior living a healthy lifestyle is still less likely to suffer from heart disease than others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends good diet, nutrition and exercise to lower the risk of this condition.