Unlike humans, where diet and lifestyle can be predisposing risk factors for heart disease, cats are believed to have genetic predispositions that can arise at any age. Heart walls thicken over time, affecting the heart’s ability to provide adequate oxygen to tissues and can lead to similar medical complications as those seen in some types of human heart disease. Now, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., the world leader in pet healthcare diagnostics, expects to enroll more than 3,000 general practice veterinarians in a new study that the company hopes will allow a better understanding of the prevalence of feline heart disease and the profile of cats at risk.
"Current literature, based on existing cardiomyopathy studies, finds that one in six cats could have heart disease. We are inviting general practice veterinarians to participate in this field study so we can better understand how cats present and classify the common traits of cats that do present. We will use our findings to quantify how feline cardiac biomarkers, when added to current blood-screening protocols, provide veterinarians with more comprehensive screening tools that advance patient care," said Leif Lorentzen, DVM, MBA, Senior Medical Affairs Manager.
The study will continue through 2010 and the the company anticipates releasing preliminary findings later this year.