Around one million adults in the UK visit their GP every year due to chest pain

Researchers from Keele University have identified the key risk factors of people with unattributed chest pain developing heart and circulatory diseases.

The study, published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, was funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Every year, around one million adults in the UK visit their GP due to chest pain and many will not receive a diagnosis, with only a few receiving preventative treatments.

Previous research has shown that people living with unattributed chest pain have a higher risk of experiencing future heart health problems compared to those without.

Researchers developed risk calculators to identify people at a high risk of developing future heart and circulatory diseases, and to pinpoint the key factors that influence that risk.

The team used anonymised information from the health records of over 600,000 people registered at GP practices across England who had unattributed chest pain between 2002 and 2018.

They found that people with diabetes, atrial fibrillation and treated high blood pressure were at the highest risk of developing heat and circulatory diseases.

Additionally, after comparing their risk calculator with the existing QRISK3 risk calculator, researchers found that one-third of the patients with a ten-year risk below 10% according to QRISK3 had a more than 10% risk in their new model.

As well as hoping to help doctors spot those at risk and offer preventative treatments, the research also suggests that GPs should be cautious when using the current risk prediction tools for people with unattributed chest pains, as they were shown to underestimate risk.

Professor Bryan Williams, chief scientific and medical officer, BHF, said: “By developing the clearest picture yet of factors that may put some people with mystery chest pain at greater risk, this research could help more people avoid future heart problems.”