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Study: Heart Exams in Space May Help Heart Care on Earth

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) -- A study by the American College of Cardiology has found that heart exams performed in space may help improve health care for patients suffering from heart disease here on earth.

Researchers collected data from echocardiograms performed onboard the International Space Station and then analyzed the data to see if the human heart loses muscle mass in space and whether this contributes to astronauts suffering from orthostasis when they return to earth.

According to the findings of the study, which was presented Sunday at the American College of Cardiology’s 60th Annual Scientific Session, mathematical modeling of the data appears to show some promise of helping doctors to predict early deterioration of heart function due to weightlessness.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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