Predictive, Preventive, Participatory, and Personalized Health

The Importance of Functional Tests in Personalized Medicine

R. Jay Widmer and Amir Lerman


Cardiovascular disease is the most prevalent disease mainly in the Western society and becoming the leading cause of death worldwide. Standard methods by which health care providers screen for cardiovascular disease have only minimally reduced the burden of disease while exponentially increasing costs. As such, more specific and individualized methods for functionally assessing cardiovascular threats are needed to identify properly those at greatest risk, and appropriately treat these patients so as to avoid a fate such as heart attack, stroke, or death. Currently, endothelial function testing—in both the coronary and peripheral circulation—is well-established as being associated with the disease process and future cardiovascular events. Improving such testing can lead to a reduction in the risk of future events. Combining this functional assessment of vascular fitness with other, more personalized, testing methods should serve to identify those at the greatest risk of cardiovascular disease earlier and subsequently reduce the affliction of such diseases worldwide.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2013;4(2):e0014