Calcium level in arteries best predictor of heart problems

A patient gets his blood pressure measured in this undated file photo.

December 24, 2013 5:01:44 AM PST
Blood pressure and cholesterol levels may not be the most accurate way of determining the risk of heart attack and stroke, new research said.

New research finds that measuring calcium build up in the arteries is a better indicator of possible cardiac problems.

The study shows that up to one-third of patients taking drugs like statins to avoid heart problems didn't really need medication.

Those with no calcium deposits in the arteries were found to be unlikely to suffer heart attacks or strokes.

The research appears in the European Heart Journal.