Carotid bruit, an unusual, harsh sound a doctor can hear when passing a stethoscope over the main artery to the brain could indicate an increased risk of heart attack and death from heart disease and stroke, said Padma Shri, Dr. B C Roy National Awardee & DST National Science Communication Awardee, Dr. K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India and Sr National Vice President Indian Medical Association.
The sound is caused by turbulent blood flow due to buildup of fatty deposits in one of the two arteries that carry blood to the front and middle part of the brain. It is usually regarded as a possible indicator of increased risk of stroke.
An analysis of 22 studies involving more than 17,000 patients and published in The Lancet found that people with carotid bruits were more than twice as likely to have heart attacks or to die of cardiovascular disease.
However patients who do not have carotid bruit may have other evidence of cardiovascular disease.
Physicians should routinely listen for possible carotid bruits when doing a physical examination of people who are middle–aged or older.
Studies have shown that there is a link between the risk of stroke and of coronary heart disease.
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