Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Do the Best Tests to Screen for Cardiovascular Disease

The best ways to determine if you have cardiovascular disease are non-contrast CT scans for calcium score, CardioRisk ultrasounds of the carotid arteries, the ankle/brachial blood pressure index, and a new blood test call the Corus test.  To monitor your risk over time, cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, the HBA1C, and current lifestyle habits such as smoking, diet, exercise and measurement of stress hormones with heart rate variability testing.  The Boston heart blood profile can provide comprehensive risk factor data.  Stress tests and echocardiograms give more information as needed.  Notice that I did not include many angiograms, which I think are over-rated and can lead to unnecessary surgery.

See the Sept. 8, 2015 issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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