Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects over 26 million Americans, with 1 in 3 American adults having some form of the disease. It remains the number one cause of death in the United States, resulting in almost 600,000 deaths annually.
Here at Live Longer Medical, we can now detect cardiovascular disease at its earliest stages. HeartSmart IMT uses ultrasound scans of the carotid artery to determine if disease is present. This allows us to provide recommendations that can prevent a heart attack or stroke.
Ultrasound scans of the carotid artery are used to measure the intima-media thickness (IMT) to detect atherosclerosis at its earliest stages. The results are then compared to our proprietary database of more than 40,000 patients, which provides an accurate and reliable assessment of the patient’s cardiovascular health compared to the patient’s peer group based on age and gender.
HeartSmart IMTplus looks at the actual state of the disease and the extent of the patient’s atherosclerosis. Carotid IMT has been conclusively shown to correlate to the progression of disease in the coronary arteries.
In addition to IMT measurement, our unique post-image analysis allows HeartSmart IMTplus to:
- Assess the presence and severity of plaques in the carotid arteries,
- Assess the vulnerability of the plaque to rupture that can result in a heart attack or stroke
IMT testing is endorsed by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the American Society of Echocardiography as a proven technique for the early detection of cardiovascular disease. It has also been recommended by the SHAPE Task Force for all men over the age of 45 and women over 55.
CVD is commonly referred to as the “silent killer” since the first sign or symptom is often a fatal heart attack. It primarily involves the heart and blood vessels, but it can lead to adverse affects on the brain, limbs, and other systems in the body. It can increase the risk for heart attack, heart failure, sudden death, stroke, and many other health issues, significantly decreasing one’s quality of life and life expectancy.
Are You at Risk?
Determining the risk factors for CVD can be complex, to say the least. Most of the risk factors can be addressed through the combination of lifestyle intervention and specific nutrients, along with predictive testing.
Women are at risk for heart disease which increases with age. Most women don’t know that:
- For every woman who dies from breast cancer, eight will die from a heart attack. Although the number of deaths from breast cancer is stabilizing and even dropping due to early detection and treatment, heart disease and the resulting morbidity and deaths are increasing for women.
- After age 45, the percentage of women with high blood pressure equals that of men. After age 64 a higher percentage of women than men have high blood pressure.
- Each year approximately 55,000 more women than men have strokes caused by plaque that builds up in the carotid arteries more rapidly post-menopause.
In addition, the symptoms of heart disease in women are different and often unrecognized even by physicians. Symptoms of heart disease in women include:
- Jaw, neck and shoulder pain
- Nausea, indigestion, stomach pain
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness and/or lightheadedness
- Unusual fatigue
HeartSmart IMTplus is the safe, non-invasive, effective test for early detection of cardiovascular disease in women.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Symptoms of heart disease in your blood vessels (atherosclerotic disease)
Cardiovascular disease symptoms may be different for men and women. For instance, men are more likely to have chest pain; women are more likely to have other symptoms along with chest discomfort, such as shortness of breath, nausea and extreme fatigue.
Symptoms can include:
- Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort (angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Fluttering in your chest
- Racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
- Lightheadedness / Dizziness / Fainting
- Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet
- Breathlessness with exertion or at rest
- Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
You might not be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until you have a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure. Cardiovascular disease can sometimes be found early with regular evaluations.This is why at Live Longer Medical, we take your heart health seriously. With our full cardio metabolic assessment program, we take a preventative approach so your risk for heart disease can be reduced and your health optimized.
Why Live Longer Medical is different…
At our office we address your heart health with a comprehensive and personalized approach. We provide you with a plan, a partnership and a promise that will get to the root cause of your heart problem.
Our approach will thoroughly evaluate the biochemical and lifestyle factors that are connected to proper heart health and hormone metabolism. We provide functional testing like Boston Heart, VO2, ANS or Cardiopulmonary for our patients to determine the underlying cause of the problem instead of just focusing on symptoms.
By listening to your story and running the right testing we are able to offer you a very unique opportunity to get better. Our goal is to work with you to develop an easy to follow, life-long, strategy that can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease so you can live longer and thrive..