Frequently asked questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions of AngioCode customers and patients, with detailed answers from a professional cardiologist.

Why do the readings of tests conducted with a short interval fluctuate?

Most parameters AngioCode trackers assess depend on the tone of various vessels. The vascular tone is very labile and may change under the influence of various factors. Vascular tone fluctuations are indicators of good control of vascular function by the nervous system and one of the signs of their normal operation. This is why tests carried out with a short interval between each other may show different findings. For accurate assessment of the cardiovascular systems, you can use average values. A good practice of measuring arterial pressure is measure it three times, with an interval of 2-3 minutes, aligning with the average value.

What do I do if the parameter results are in the red zone on the scale?

First, make sure all the test requirements were met. Check how the tracker is placed on your arm; sit correctly on a chair (with your back leaning on the back of the chair, legs not tucked or crossed, etc.). Before you start your test, sit for a while in the relaxed state. Don't forget the vascular tone is highly affected by diurnal rhythms, so measurements taken at different times of the day may differ. Perform tests at the same time of the day (e.g., morning, before breakfast). Don't forget that the reasons why your measurements may look deviated include an unusual psychological state, stress, physical fatigue, administration of medicines, consumption of certain food and beverages. You don't want to conduct tests after smoking, consuming stimulating drinks (including coffee and strong tea). Carry out your measurements in a quiet environment, wearing comfortable clothes, and—most importantly—in an accustomed physical and mental state.

If all the technical requirements are met but the parameters differ significantly from the normal values, pay attention to the over-time parameter dynamics. The vascular tone is a volatile state that may wobble. Perform several tests and assess the dynamics: most probably, a one-time deviation will not markedly affect the overall cardiovascular condition picture.

If you notice a sustainable abnormality of some parameters, set your eyes on arterial pressure and pulse rate. A pulse that is too rapid (over 90 beats per minute) or too feeble (less than 60) may disrupt the vascular stiffness readings, underestimating or overestimating the result. The same is true for arterial pressure. Increased vascular stiffness can be seen at the early stages of many cardiovascular diseases (such as arterial hypertension and coronary heart disease) and requires mandatory medical consultation and detailed examination.

I keep seeing a high pulse rate warning. What does it mean?

A normal pulse rate in healthy people is the pulse rate from 60 to 90 beats per minute at rest. Stably high (over 90 beats per minute) values can also be considered a constitutional feature within the normal range; but in some cases, especially when the frequency is over 100-120 beats per minute, such an increase may indicate a disease of the cardiovascular or endocrine system. You may want to see a specialist in such a case.

Why does the vascular age matches my biological age but vascular stiffness is in the red zone?

If the pulse is too weak, the stiffness index exceeds the real values significantly, while the vascular age doesn't change. Of note, the vascular age is an integral indicator embracing several pulse wave parameters thus helping draw a general conclusion on the cardiovascular system health. Vascular stiffness is a fairly stable indicator with a large evidence base regarding the development of severe cardiovascular complications and mortality. In a questionable situation, vascular stiffness is your best reference.

May regular administration of anti-hypertension or anti-hypotension medicines interfere with the measurement and interpretation?

Prolonged intake of drugs affecting vascular tone leads to changes in the assessed parameters (ideally, bringing them to normal values). Don't regard it as an interpretation-disrupting factor. On the contrary, studying the vascular function with an AngioCode tracker helps assess therapy performance. The closer the studied parameters are to normal values, the more effective the medications are in protecting blood vessels and, most importantly, in reducing the risk of severe complications and premature death.

Can severe snoring, or no breathing for a few seconds, during sleep negatively affect the heart function?

Yes, this phenomenon is known as sleep apnea that is typical for obese people who snore during sleep. Upper respiratory airways may be shut—blocking the way to the lungs for air for some time. After that, reacting to the reduced oxygen saturation, the respiratory center of the brain is activated and initiates inhaling. Sleep apnea has an extremely negative effect on the heart function—contributing to exacerbation of arterial hypertension, leading to various metabolic disorders, autonomic disturbances, headaches, feeling unwell, and drowsiness during the day. Apnea diagnostics employs a special study during night sleep to identify the number and duration of no-breath periods and thus determine the disease severity and treatment.

What do I do to improve my vascular age and stiffness index?

All the measures taken to improve the vascular functions can be categorized as general cardiovascular disease prevention measures. After you see bad test results, your top-priority concern must be revisiting your lifestyle, nutrition, and bad habits. Smoking is the central factor triggering heart diseases: quitting it will let you enhance your vascular health. If you struggle to quit smoking, start with curbing the daily smoking volume to 5 cigarettes. Besides, there are some methods allowing to drop smoking with the help of medicines. Alongside smoking, pay attention to your diet, reduce consumption of salt (both neat and as part of other goods—especially, sauces like ketchup, mayonnaise, etc.). Decrease consumption of fatty meat, sausages, and ready-to-cook goods. Try sticking to a healthier lifestyle, take every day strolls (30-40 min long), use elevators less, and try to travel short distances on foot rather than on public transit. Optimal are regular aerobic loads of moderate intensity (e.g., jogging, cycling, aerobics, dancing).

Along with changing your lifestyle, make it a habit to check your arterial pressure and pulse rate at least 1-2 times a days, logging the readings in a special diary. Also, protect yourself from other significant cardiovascular disease risks. For that, measure overall blood cholesterol level and content of other lipid fractions, as well as the glucose level.

Can vascular tests with AngioCode trackers be harmful to pregnant women?

The tracker's mechanism relies on the photoplethysmographic effect, which is basically registration of changes in the optical density of blood flow in the studied area. In the case of blood vessels, optical density of blood flow may change due to the fluctuating hemoglobin concentration during different heart contraction phases. The sensor's diode generates an infrared ray that passes through the phalanx of the finger, registers blood flow optical density in the capillaries, and is then "caught" by the photodiode. This mechanism is absolutely safe for pregnant women and exerts no negative effect either on the developing fetus or on the mother's body.

My heart rate is always high (90-100 bpm). Is it true that this heart rate may distort the readings? How can I reduce my heart rate to a normal level so I know my real parameters?

Arterial stiffness, a parameter used in AngioCode trackers, depends significantly on the pulse rate. When the heart rate increases, parameters may be artificially downplayed to imitate the normal state. We can recommend you to perform tests either early in the morning or before you go to bed. In both cases, your pulse will be a bit weaker than during active vigilance. You can also use so-called vagal maneuvers where you breathe deeply several times and then hold your breath while inhaling next time.

On average, a pulse rate increase by 10 beats per minute entails 5-percent decrease in stiffness. To ensure the comparable values, the tracker adjusts stiffness readings to align them with the heart rate of 75 bpm.

10.When I perform a test using my AngioCode tracker, I see that all my parameters are a bit worse than normal for my age. I'm in my 30s but the vascular age is over 35; the pulse rate is too high—90-95 bpm; stiffness just above zero; stress index 150-180; pulse wave type C. Why does it happen?

Your pulse wave type, C, indicates the preserved vessel elasticity. This type is common among young people not suffering from any cardiovascular disease. This parameter is stable enough and remains almost the same even if the external environment of testing change. A slight deviation of other parameters may be explained by the fact that you performed your test during active vigilance—when the vascular tone increases, pulse rate grows; you may also experience social stress and other effects. It is important to note that a single measurement allows us to make a fairly descriptive conclusion about the state of the cardiovascular system. What is more significant is assessing the indicators in real time, including the long-term observation and identification of trends.

I bought an AngioCode tracker and regularly check how medicines prescribed by doctors affect my vessels. Sometimes, some parameters improve after administration; sometimes, there is no change. How would a doctor at the clinic react if I bring them your tracker and show them the results of tests?

Usually, medicines used in treatment of chronic heart diseases have not a here-and-now but sustainable and long-term impact on the cardiovascular system. Some drugs reveal their effect in a few hours, others in a few days. Regular administration of cardiovascular medicines helps maintain the normal level of arterial pressure, pulse, cholesterol and sugar levels, coagulation for a long time—and avoid abrupt, sometimes hazardous, fluctuations of these indicators. Therefore, it makes no sense to perform tests with an AngioCode tracker right after administering the medicines in a bid to assess their effect. You will get way more insightful and credible findings from long-term observations, on a horizon of months or even years. It's the over-time cardiovascular function assessment that helps identify threatening or favorable trends and thus accurately evaluate therapy performance and predict possible diseases.

According to AngioCode readings, my vascular stiffness is too high and the pulse wave type is specific to an older age. What tests should I undergo? What doctor should I consult after undergoing tests?

Get a tonometer (blood pressure tracker), measure your blood pressure at least once or twice a day, morning and evening, record the results in a diary. If you smoke, it may explain such results, since smoking is the most powerful cardiovascular disease risk factor. Find out your weight, growth, body mass index; measure your waist circumference. Make sure you don't have excess weight. Take a blood test to determine the concentration of total cholesterol and other blood lipid fractions ("bad" and "good" cholesterol) as well as the glucose level. Show your test results, arterial pressure and AngioCode readings diary to a doctor. Among other necessary tests are an electrocardiogram of the heart and stress testing to rule out exercise-induced cardiac abnormalities. Remember than two thirds of men of working age are not bothered by their cardiovascular system at all before they have a myocardial infarction.

How can the high stress index be hazardous? I had a cardiogram, the doctor said everything was fine.

The stress index characterizes the variability of the pulse wave shape and amplitude over time. This process reflects the variability of the heart rhythm associated with the activity of the autonomic nervous system. Decreased variability of the heart rhythm in patients with heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and alcoholic heart damage is a clear sign of unfavorable repercussions. In the absence of serious diseases of the cardiovascular system, a high stress index may indicate physical or emotional overstrain against a background of severe fatigue. If you noticed higher stress index values, you may want to take measurements in more comfortable conditions (e.g. after resting). What has the highest weight is over-time parameter assessment (sometimes during a long period). It's important to note that conventional electrocardiography does not allow to estimate heart rhythm variability; for this purpose, a day-long ECG, recorded with a special portable cardiograph, is required.

Effect of which food and drinks, alongside alcohol and coffee, should I check?

A large number of products somehow affect the cardiovascular function. The very process of food consumption catalyzes the basic metabolism and impacts the vascular tone. This is why it's irrational to assess a specific effect of certain products on the studied parameters; instead, it's recommended to stick to a healthy diet, which will reliably entail better AngioCode readings.

Why do you restrict the patient age in the category "children and teens"? Vascular and heart diseases know no age, right?

It's not completely correct. Happily, vascular and heart diseases do know age. To date, it has been proved that early signs of atherosclerotic vascular damage can be observed in young children. With that, the level of physical exertion, hormonal background, and significant compensatory reserves of a young body allow to longer maintain the normal cardiovascular function. Although severe exacerbations of heart diseases are still common among elderly people, there is a slight decrease in the age of debut of heart disease, especially among men, in some countries including Russia. Besides, a child's or teen's cardiovascular system is only developing and forming; therefore, the results obtained during AngioCode measurements may be inaccurate.

My hands are always cold. Even after I put them in hot water, they cool down quickly, and my perfusion index is always under 1. When I manage to take measurements, my parameters align with the normal values for my age, but they are at the brink. What could you recommend?

The results may be inaccurate if the perfusion index (PI) falls under 1. When the perfusion index exceeds 1, the results are usually highly reliable. To warm your hands, do some physical exercise: stretch your hands, fingers, forearms, do a few quick squats, etc. Take the measurement in the morning, immediately after waking up, when your fingers are still warm.

The tracker is very new in the market, and neither consumers nor physicians have extensive usage experience. Are the results it provides reliable?

Though the AngioCode personal model, intended for home use, has just entered the market both in Russia and abroad, considerable experience has been accumulated in the use of contour pulse wave analysis in clinical practice. The effectiveness of this method in stratifying cardiovascular risk, assessing the effectiveness of therapy, and determining the prognosis of patients with heart disease has been proven. The results obtained using AngioCode are highly reliable and reproducible.

I want to purchase a tracker for home use but I doubt whether the results will be reliable. My leg was amputated after a wound. Will the tracker have an error?

Usually, the cardiovascular system adapts to the changed conditions, even after such significant surgery. If a considerable amount of time has passed since the amputation, you can use the tracker without fear of measurement errors.

The tracker manual says I should regularly check my tooth health. What does tooth health have to do with vascular diseases?

In fact, decayed teeth are a hotbed of chronic infectious inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammatory processes may disrupt the vascular tone, disturb the rheological properties of blood, and trouble the endothelial function. Such changes may significantly affect the test results.

Most parameters are subject to age-specific normal values. But what about stress index?

As you age, the heart rhythm variability may fluctuate, but there are no strict age-specific norms for this indicator. AngioCode trackers use average values typical for people of all ages.

I'm an experienced driver and transport people over long distances. What stress index may be dangerous for driving? What do I do if my stress index is too high?

The stress index characterizes the variability of the pulse wave shape and amplitude over time. This process reflects how harmonized your nervous and vascular systems are. In a number of severe diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart failure, as well as in persons who abuse alcohol, an increase in the stress index may indicate an unfavorable life prognosis. In the absence of serious diseases of the cardiovascular system, an increase in the stress index may be due to physical or emotional overstrain or pronounced fatigue. If your work requires agility and exceptional concentration, have a good rest (or even) sleep before coming to work if your stress index is higher than 500.

I'm in my second trimester of pregnancy and I would like to take regular measurements with an AngioCode tracker. I was told it was critical to keep the vascular system in good health. Is it safe? I don't want to do unnecessary ultrasounds.

AngioCode tests, as well as ultrasounds, are absolutely harmless and can do no damage either to the developing fetus of the mother. AngioCode trackers help detect disturbances of the vascular endothelial cells (endothelial dysfunction)—a condition that, when combined with edema and increased blood pressure levels, may indicate the development of gestosis, a serious complication that occurs in the second half of pregnancy. Careful monitoring of weight, blood pressure, periodic urine tests for protein, as well as the study of endothelial function with an AngioCode tracker, will help you timely detect the development of gestosis.

If I show a doctor my AngioCode readings, can they tell me what tests I should undergo?

If the doctor who has studied AngioCode tracker readings is qualified enough to interpret the results correctly, they will easily help you create an individual plan of additional medical examinations to assess your cardiovascular risk. They will also provide some lifestyle and diet recommendations so you can keep your heart and vessels in good health for a long time.

I had a fever of 39.5 and severe tachycardia and took measurements with the AngioCode tracker. My index stress climbed to 1,500, and all parameters improved significantly. How come? Does it always happen?

If you have so high body temperature, you must seek medical aid as quickly as possible, since not only can it be a sign of a severe disease but it may also harm your health substantially. An increased stress index reflects the overall severe state of the body associated with high fever and tachycardia in the background of the underlying disease. Improvement of other indicators can be considered false, related to express pulse rate growth. Vascular stiffness parameters used in AngioCode trackers depend highly on the pulse rate. To interpret vascular stiffness readings correctly, you can recalculate the results for the normal pulse rate. A pulse rate increase by 10 beats per minute entails 5-percent decrease in stiffness. For instance, if the initial pulse rate is 110 beats per minute, you need to increase the stiffness index by 20% to get a result corresponding to a normal pulse rate (70 bpm).

I don't understand what "relative duration of systole" is. Could you please explain what it means?

At the pulse rate of 60 bpm, one cardiac cycle lasts one second. Normally, the heart muscle works for one third of this period, and rests—being supplied with blood—for the rest two thirds. The time during which the heart works—and contracts—is called systole. The time of relaxation if called diastole. "Relative duration of systole" is the ratio of the heart's operation time (systole) to the overall work-rest cycle duration. As a person age, their relative duration of systole increases. But it may also increase if the pulse rate grows. For adults, the ratio of the heart contraction period to the entire cycle duration is usually stable. A sustainable deviation from the normal relative duration of systole by a few percentage points values may indicate a disturbed heart function.
Learn more about relative duration of systole.

Why is my relative duration of systole is higher, by a couple percent, than my husband's?

As a rule, relative duration of systole is higher in women than in men. This is because of the evolutionary superiority of the female body over the male in terms of efficient energy consumption.

My oxygen level dropped to 92% and stress index jumped to ~1,000. What does it mean?

The hemoglobin oxygen saturation (SpO2) of 92% and stress level around 1,000 are signs of disturbance in the body. If you keep seeing such values day after day for a few months, this may mean chronic pathology. Similar values of these indicators, which appeared unexpectedly and remained for hours outside the normal range (which had not been seen before) are already a sign of the acute course of some disorder. Typically, SpO2 under 94% is associated with decreased respiratory function of the lungs (e.g., in case of a viral infection). Be sure to measure your body temperature and see a doctor as soon as possible. Amidst the COVID-19 situation, such signs must prompt a person to undergo additional tests.

I usually spend two early mornings a week contemplating the meaning of life. Every time, my stress level rises to ~1,200. By the way, the value doesn't depend on what I'm thinking about. Why does it happen? Mediation is healthy, so where does stress come from?

Any concentration, also on images and relaxation, decreases the heart rhythm variability. This is what you notice. After your return to usual activities, your concentration will fall, and stress level reduce. Moreover, the stability of the values you see bespeaks the high discipline of your mind.

How can I use a smartphone to use the device?

You can install the AngioCode tracker app on a smartphone or table with Android 6.0 or newer. The AngioCode app is installed like any other app, on Play Market.Go to Play Market and type "angiocode" in the search bar. After you find it in the search results and tap on it, you will land on the AngioCode app page. Tap "Download" and the app will be installed on your smartphone. Turn your AngioCode tracker on, open the smartphone app, and follow the prompts on the screen.

The AngioCode app says I need to update the tracker firmware. How do I do that?

Install the AngioCode app on a Windows PC and connect your tracker to the PC over USB (the cable is supplied with the tracker). After you run the computer app, the tracker firmware will update automatically (make sure the tracker is on). You can download the AngioCode app for Windows from the Download Center section of angiocode.ru or by following this direct link: https://angiocode.ru/en_w301. Advanced users can also update the firmware by connecting the tracker to the smartphone with an OTG adapter.

The AngioCode allows to register a user in the cloud. Why do I need this?

If a user is registered in the cloud, all their test results will be stored in the cloud drive and can be restored after the app is installed on another smartphone. If you do tests using the AngioCode app for Windows, the results of the user registered in the cloud with the same username and password, will be saved to the cloud drive and transferred automatically to the smartphone.

end faq

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