Don't Let Your Loved one Have A Broken Heart; Nonprofit Organization Calls For Heart Attack Prevention Testing For Valentine's Day

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The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) a nonprofit organization is calling on couples to show their affection by giving the gift of a preventive heart attack test to their valentines. This release provides background information on the recommended noninvasive tests that can be used to enhance the accuracy of the common risk factor screening protocols in use today.


We encourage those who are able to demonstrate your affection by protecting the heart of those you hold dear with a combination of the Framingham Risk Score and a CACS or CIMT scan.

The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) today called on love birds aged 45 to 75 to give their significant others the gift of a heart attack prevention test.

Since last Valentine's Day some 600,000 healthy looking Americans suffered a sudden heart attack. Sadly more than half of them died before reaching a hospital, leaving their loved ones in pain and sorrow. What is especially sad is that most of these victims could have been alerted to their risk and possibly saved had they undergone a heart prevention test. "Having normal (average) cholesterol does not mean that you will not have a heart attack, in fact over 60 percent of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol," said Dr. Morteza Naghavi, Chairman of the Board of SHAPE. "Testing for cholesterol and
other traditional risk factors is not sufficient. People need to know if and how much plaque (fat buildup in the arteries) is in their arteries. Screening for asymptomatic vascular disease beyond traditional risk factors is needed for accurate prediction of a near
future heart attack."

"Sudden heart attack is a killer that frequently strikes seemingly healthy people without warning. A screening protocol like the SHAPE Guideline can detect plaque buildup (the root cause of heart attack) in the arteries long before any symptoms occur," said Dr. P.K. Shah, Professor of Medicine at UCLA, Chief of Cardiology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and member of SHAPE's Board of Directors. "Our solution to the challenge of heart attack prevention is through promotion of the concept of early detection of arterial plaque. This is a reliable means for identifying at-risk individuals who can be targeted for aggressive preventive interventions."

"The standard use of risk factor-based screening can be bolstered by screening for and treating the 'vulnerable patient,' those individuals who are at very high risk of a near future heart attack," said Dr. Matt Budoff professor of medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and a member of SHAPE's Board of Directors. "We encourage those who are able to demonstrate your affection by protecting the heart of those you hold dear with a combination of the Framingham Risk Score and a CACS or CIMT scan."

Coronary heart disease has remained the number one killer in the United States since 1902. In response SHAPE is calling for asymptomatic people especially those with a first degree family member who has suffered a sudden cardiac death, heart attack, stroke or
peripheral arterial disease prior to the age of 55 in men, or women prior to the age of 65 to be concerned about their individual risk and of the risk of those dearest to their hearts. Modeled after successful cancer screening efforts, the SHAPE Guideline calls for men 45-75 years and women 55-75 years to undergo screening to assess coronary plaque or carotid wall thickness. It recommends the coronary calcium scan (CACS) or carotid scan (CIMT) -- two tests that have proven to be strong predictors of those who are vulnerable to a heart attack or stroke. Preventive exams give healthcare professionals the opportunity to take appropriate action before fatal symptoms appear.

Glossary of Terms and abbreviations:

Carotid Artery Intima Thickness (CIMT): It is a simple noninvasive test used to check for the thickness of the carotid artery (blood vessels of the neck). The thickness of the neck vessels is a direct estimate of vascular atherosclerosis. The CIMT scan takes approximately less than 10 minutes to perform. It does not expose you to any radiation provides valuable information one's risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke in the near future.

Coronary Artery Calcium Scores (CACS): These are heart scans that calculate the degree of calcium in the walls of the arteries that supply your heart (coronary arteries) with blood. The calcium score represents the total accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque in all the coronary arteries. In general, patients with a high calcium score have a higher risk of a heart attack than those with a low calcium score. This test is noninvasive and is associated with a very low dose of radiation which is in the range of a dental examination.

Framingham Risk Score: This method enables to detect one's risk of developing heart disease in the next 10 years. It is calculated by the information that the patient provides regarding their age, gender and smoking history. In addition the patient's blood pressure is measured and about 1 tablespoon of blood is taken to determine their LDL - cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Using the Framingham risk score along with the information obtained by their neck (CIMT) or heart (CACS) scans improves the overall the accuracy of identifying the patient's risk of future heart attack and/or strokes. As a result this will provide information to individualize their treatment plans according to their underlying risk of heart disease.

About SHAPE:

SHAPE's mission is to eradicate heart attack by promoting effective tools for prevention while advancing the scientific quest for a cure. Additional information is available on the organization's website: or call 1-877-SHAPE11.

MEDIA CONTACT: Paul Galloway, Direct: 281-833-7603.


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