Hearts, hearts everywhere!
It’s Valentine’s month, after all. They’re in ads. They’re in business decorations. They’re all over store shelves lined with Valentine goodies – cards and trinkets and, of course, candy.
Lots of candy. Even as candy is the last thing our real, beating hearts need.
Those literal hearts are at the center of another February observance: American Heart Month. And they certainly could use a bit more attention. After all, heart disease is the leading cause of death in our nation, with stroke not too far behind.
Together, these two conditions claim nearly 800,000 American lives every year, male and female alike. In fact, for every woman who dies from breast cancer, 8 will die from a heart attack.
Most of these deaths are largely preventable, mainly through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors.
While many simple measures can give us an idea of your risk of cardiovascular problems – blood pressure and lipid level readings, overweight or obesity, and the like – other tools can offer even more insight.
HeartSmart IMTplus is one of them. It can detect cardiovascular disease in its very earliest stages, when there’s still lots you can do to reverse the problem.
It works with ultrasonic scans of your carotid arteries. Those are the ones that supply oxygenated blood to your neck and head, including the brain. One runs up each side of your neck.
Viewing them through ultrasound, we can measure their width – their “intima-media thickness,” or IMT. The wider they are, the more easily blood can flow. But over time, plaque and lesions can narrow them considerably – a condition known as atherosclerosis.
Once we measure the IMT of your carotid arteries, the results are compared against a database of more than 40,000 patients. This gives us an accurate and reliable assessment of your health compared to others in your peer group.
Click the image below to see how it works in a brief clip from The Doctors.
Your detailed report is an easy to understand, comprehensive report card of your cardiovascular health. It leaves little room for misinterpretation. It even includes a copy of the ultrasound image, illustrating where heart disease may have been detected.
With this assessment in hand, along with your health history and other relevant test results, we can come up with a sound, sensible game plan to address the issue.
The test is quick (10 minutes), easy, and should be part of your annual health checkup. Scientifically validated, it’s endorsed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology as a proven technique for the early detection of heart disease.
Why not show yourself a little love this Valentine’s Day by arranging to have a HeartSmart IMTplus scan? Or gift one to your beloved? After all, we think staying healthy is one of the best gifts partners can give each other.