My mission is always to help you prevent disease and live a long, fulfilling life.
And when it comes to safeguarding your heart, there’s one very simple test that I’m a big proponent of…
The coronary artery calcium score test (CAC).
Here’s why I’ve been recommending it for over 25 years…
Calculate YOUR risk
No matter your cholesterol number—too high, too low, or just right—you can still develop heart disease.
But the CAC test is the only test that can help you determine whether you need to be on a dreaded statin medication.
Ironically enough, cardiologists used to fight me the most about the necessity of this test. When one would think that before prescribing a medication with potentially serious, sometimes fatal, side effects, you’d want to be certain it’s absolutely necessary.
Well, fast forward to 2023, and we finally have a study that proves me right (once again).
Recent research looked at traditional risk factors to calculate coronary heart disease (CHD) risk versus one’s CAC score.
Ultimately, an increase of either was significantly associated with a 10-year risk of incident CHD. But they found that CAC score better defined risk estimation… and proved more useful in guiding treatment.
The researchers concluded that those at intermediate risk for heart disease—from family history, obesity, and more—can benefit the most from this test.
All I can say is… if only they had listened to me decades ago! Just think about all of the lives that could have been saved, along with the countless number of statin medications avoided.
Now, obviously we want to know who is at risk for any disease.
But since heart disease is the No. 1 killer in this country, it’s vitally important to know how to protect ourselves. That’s why I always suggest asking for this vitally important heart test.
(I take the test regularly and recommend it to all of my at-risk heart disease patients.)
The CAC score test provides a picture, through CT imaging, of the level of calcification in your cardiac arteries. And as this research reiterates, the results are highly predictive.
In fact, coronary artery calcium is a marker of subclinical disease. That means this test can identify the earliest signs of heart disease, long before it becomes a major problem—and way before you experience clinical signs like chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, and more.
This gives you plenty of time to do something about it… and lessen your risk of full-blown heart disease. (If your results are very low, so is your risk. If not, it’s time to get busy.)
As always, I routinely recommend regular exercise for improved heart health. But a huge step is also cleaning up your diet. Cut out the junk and enjoy heart-healthy foods, like lean protein, healthy fats, and organic produce.
Some research even shows drinking one cup of herbal tea daily provides a 36 percent reduced risk of coronary artery calcium, compared to those who didn’t drink any tea at all.
To discover a comprehensive, step-by-step plan to fend off heart disease, check out my Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol. Click here to learn more!
“Coronary artery calcium score bests polygenic risk score in CHD prediction.” MDedge, 05/23/2023. (mdedge.com/cardiology/article/263152/cad-atherosclerosis/coronary-artery-calcium-score-bests-polygenic-risk)