We understand that your healthcare provider may not be familiar with the medical literature that has convinced us that heart attacks can be prevented with medical treatment. It is essential that he/she understands what we are trying to accomplish and the scientific basis for our approach. We suggest that you print out this page and give it to your healthcare provider at your next visit. We are available to talk to your healthcare provider if he/she wishes to speak to us.
Dear healthcare Provider – Your patient has given you this page at our suggestion. It was taken from our website – www.stopheartattack.net . We encourage you to visit this site which includes a References for Professionals portal and the answer to many questions concerning prevention of cardiovascular disease. As you are aware, cardiovascular disease is responsible for more than 50% of the deaths in the United States. It often kills people in the prime of their lives as many newspaper accounts will testify. This fact is most unfortunate because recent scientific evidence indicates that not only is cardiovascular disease preventable but it is also reversible.
Recently published guidelines by the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association are much too conservative to accomplish this objective. More realistic guidelines have been advocated by the association known as Screening for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (e.g., SHAPE). The first step in preventing cardiovascular disease is to stratify the patient’s risk of having a cardiovascular event. This is best done with a Coronary Calcium Scan score (explained in detail in the Calcium Scan portal on our website). A calcium score has been demonstrated to be significantly superior to the Framingham Risk Score and the American Heart Association risk score. In our clinical practice, we use it to determine the aggressiveness of medical therapy. It is usually not covered by medical insurance but in most cities, it costs between $50 and $300. It is well worth this cost as it changes prognosis and therapy.
Assuming that the patient has a positive cardiac calcium score (>10) indicating significant atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries, then the goal is to achieve a high sensitivity C-reactive protein of <2.0 and an LDL cholesterol in the 40 to 50 mg/dl range (the higher the calcium score, the lower the LDL-cholesterol should be). This level can be achieved in most patients with a combination of ezetimibe (Zetia®) and atorvastatin (Lipitor®) or rosuvastatin (Crestor®). Every scientific study has shown that the risk/benefit of this approach is strongly on the side of benefit. References for this conclusion are given on our website in the References for Professionals portal..
We are available to answer any of your questions. However, we encourage you to visit our website’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) first where we answer many questions that people ask us. However, if our website still leaves you in doubt there are two options. First, you can send us a question through our web site’s Contact Us portal. Second, if you would like to talk to one of us directly, please call 505-272-4657 during the day and ask for the physician who is answering cardiovascular disease questions. You will be connected to one of us who is available that day. If we are not available, we will call you back if you leave your name and contact number. Thank you.