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Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention
Who Should Have a Carotid Intima Media Thickness (CIMT) Screening?
Did you know that half of the population who suffers from heart attacks has normal cholesterol?
The usual risk assessment for heart attacks and strokes consist of cholesterol checks. In the past, it has been assumed that if a patient’s cholesterol was within a healthy range, then he or she was not at risk for heart attack or stroke. Review of recent research has revealed this assumption to be false. This is why Lincoln Park Family Physicians has taken the assessment and prevention process a step further by teaming up with CardioRisk Laboratories to offer the CIMT scan. Our goal is to use the CIMT screening for people whose heart attack and stroke risk assessment is moderate so that we may target those whose risk may be higher than originally appreciated. In this way, we will be able to assess patient risk more accurately and with more life-saving results.
Do you have any of these risk factors?
- 45 Years Old
- Family History of Heart Attack or Stroke
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Little Or No Exercise
If you said “Yes” to any of these risk factors, you fall into the moderate risk category and are a good candidate for the CIMT scan. Another good way to assess your risk is to visit the MedCalc website and fill out the Coronary Heart Disease Risk Calculator. Visit: http://www.medcalc.com/heartrisk.html. If your overall risk percentage is between 6 and 20%, you fall into the moderate risk category and are a good candidate for the CIMT scan. It is recommended that you call our office at 773-665-9355 at your earliest convenience to schedule an appointment for this scan
How Does an Intima Media Thickness (IMT) Scan Work?
You should look at your CardioRisk assessment as a multi-component test. If your test reflects Moderate or High risk in any area, you should address the risk. It is not uncommon to have normal results in every area but one. The value of this test is that it provides insight and comparisons from many different data points, any one of which predicts lifetime risk for future events.
The procedure is simple, painless, free of radiation, and completed within 10 minutes. A CardioRisk-trained sonographer places an ultrasound probe on the main arteries of your neck. This probe acquires images that can detect the presence of plaque, which equates to heart disease, at an early stage. A report is generated and given to your doctor for treatment decisions.
What Happens Next?
After receiving your results, our office will contact you to make a follow-up appointment. You and the doctor will discuss your results during this appointment.
Based on the data from your test, the results will reflect the age estimate of your arteries. For example, you may be 53 years old, but have arteries equivalent to a 67 year old person. This would mean you are at a high risk for heart attack or stroke, as your arterial age should remain within 5 years of your actual age. Just as important, the images will show whether your arteries have plaque. Your results will indicate the number of lesions, their size, and stability, which helps in determining treatment.
If your test shows you are at increased risk, the doctor will look at your whole health picture to determine the source of the risk. Based on this determination, the doctor will work with you to create the best solution for lowering your risk. Additional tests may need to be ordered.