Did you know that 50% of patients who suffer heart attacks have normal EKG’s. normal cholesterol values and no symptoms prior to having a heart attack? The reason why that should scare you is because other than these basic screening tools very few physicians are ordering advanced tests to predict the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. The purpose of this blog is to educate you about what other options you have to screen for cardiovascular disease. Specifically the carotid ultrasound to look for thickness of the wall (intima media thickness) and for early plaque build up.
Carotid artery ultrasound is a great screening tool to detect asymptomatic plaque build up in the patients arteries. Studies show that if there is plaque build up in the carotid’s that there is a 70-95% chance that it is also in the coronary arteries which supply the heart. Dr. Sean Breen is only physician in Orange County, California who uses HeartSmart IMT to screen patients for potentially lethal atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke and congestive heart failure) is the number one cause of death worldwide. 58% of men and women over the age of 50 will die of heart