Tune-Up Your Heart .
Dr Steven Masley, MD, in his Special articleto Everyday Health. writes
“As a resident and then physician, I volunteered in more than fifteen impoverished countries. Most people in the underdeveloped world by necessity had to be fit and to eat unprocessed food. In fact, I was shocked to realize that despite their difficult living conditions, if they weren’t starving, they usually enjoyed better heart health than most of my patients back home. They were trimmer, fitter and had fewer joint problems. They also had better blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure control.”
“The factor that causes most heart problems is not cholesterol, but the growth of plaque in your arteries. Newly-formed, soft plaque can coat the lining of the arteries and mound up like pimples. These lesions can pop into the bloodstream. The inflammatory chemicals released from this rupture cause large blood clots to form. These travel to the heart and brain, blocking the supply of oxygen which leads to a heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.”
“To determine your heart’s true age, we need to look at the growth of plaque. That is simple and safe to do with ultrasound equipment similar to what monitors a fetus. This new carotid intimal-medial thickness testing (carotid IMT) calculates arterial plaque growth. It reliably estimates my patients’ arterial age.”
“The carotid arteries carry blood from the heart to the brain. Research has shown that more than 90 percent of the time, the carotid and coronary arteries grow plaque at the same rate. The thickness of plaque in the carotid artery reflects growth in the arteries that feed the heart. Carotid IMT is an excellent predictor of risk for future cardiovascular events.:
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