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Preventative Cardiovascular Imaging Could Save Lives and Money - Non-Invasive Screening Recommended by Cardiologist Association

July 10th 2006

Preventative Cardiovascular Imaging Could Save Lives and Money - Non-Invasive Screening Recommended by Cardiologist Association

Phillips Imaging System

New guidelines recommend non-invasive screening of men between the ages of 45 and 75 and women between the age’s of 55 and 75 to assess their coronary plaque buildup or carotid wall thickness. They recommend the implementation of cardiovascular imaging technologies as part of a comprehensive heart attack risk assessment and reduction strategy. 

The SHAPE (Screening for Heart Attack Prevention and Education) Task Force recommends this screening for men and women even if they do not have symptoms for cardiovascular disease.

SHAPE is an international contingent of leading cardiologists and researchers organized by the Association for Eradication of Heart Attack (AEHA).  They say this screening can prevent more than 90,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease each year.  The task force also says this could reduce the population with a history of heart attack by as much as 25 percent.  They estimate that this amounts to 13.2 million people.


SHAPE also says we can save money in this preventative care effort.  They estimate that Americans can save an estimated $21.5 billion annually “by saving those at highest risk, most of whom are unaware of the danger they are facing.”

According to Dr. Morteza Naghavi, “Until SHAPE, there have been no national guidelines for screening subclinical (hidden) coronary heart disease. We encourage hospitals, diagnostic clinics and physicians to comply with SHAPE standards and provide their patients with state-of-the-art preventive care.”  Naghavi is chairman of the SHAPE Task Force who founded the AEHA organization to focus on the eradication of heart attacks. 


There are inexpensive treatments for cardiovascular disease. Naghavi says some patients may be at risk for sudden death or heart attack without knowing it.  They may not have the obvious risk factors.   

According to the report: “Relying solely on traditional risk factors to identify patients at risk for a heart attack has proven to be unsuccessful. Many physicians treat patients who have a huge amount of atherosclerotic plaques (fat buildup in the arteries) the same way they treat those with no plaques, simply because their risk factor levels (e.g. cholesterol and blood pressure) are the same. This practice leaves the high risk patients with an imminent threat of a heart attack or stroke (the Vulnerable Patient) inadequately protected. Unfortunately, most physicians are unaware of the threat because they do not measure their patients’ plaque burden.”

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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM