Study: To predict heart attacks, use images
For his special on heart disease, Dr. Sanjay Gupta undergoes a coronary calcium scan like the ones reported on here. Tune in Sunday night to learn his results.
August 18th, 2011
06:36 PM ET

Study: To predict heart attacks, use images

Editor's note: Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores the signs, tests and lifestyle changes that could make cardiac problems a thing of the past on "The Last Heart Attack," Saturday, August 27,  8 and 11 p.m. ET.

Heart disease is the No. 1  killer in America, and the world.

Some people are at a very high risk of suffering a heart attack – those people may have high blood pressure or high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.  They also may be smokers or have a family history of heart disease.

Others are at extremely low risk – they’re young, athletic, eat healthy, and don’t have any of the risks above.

Will you have a heart attack? These tests can tell

But for all those millions of people at moderate risk, determining whether to take preventative medication just isn’t as clear as it could be, finds a new study published Thursday in the journal Lancet.

Coronary calcium scans – they’re not yet standard medical care, but they create images showing whether plaque has built up in the heart.

The dietary education of Bill Clinton

Plaque build up means the arteries have hardened, a condition called atherosclerosis, and are more susceptible to becoming blocked by a blood clot, causing a heart attack.

What your cholesterol numbers really mean

In a six-year study of 2,083 people with some heart disease risk factors, but normal levels of cholesterol, Dr. Michael Blaha, the study’s lead author, found that 95% of the heart-attack, stroke, and heart-related deaths occurred in people with some calcium buildup.

For every 24 people with high levels of coronary calcium buildup, prescribing a statin (cholesterol-lowering) medication would prevent one heart attack over five years, according to the study.

The research concludes that coronary calcium scans are a much better indicator of risk than the commonly used C-reactive protein levels, a measurement of inflammation.

“While not everyone needs a calcium scoring test,” says Blaha in a written statement, “we believe looking for calcification in coronary vessels in certain patients makes sense in order to predict who may benefit from statin therapy because the test gets right to the heart of the disease we want to treat.”

soundoff (646 Responses)
  1. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa


    June 21, 2021 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Repair Around Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the site is also very good.


    June 21, 2021 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Bus Repair

    Great article. I'm facing some of these issues as well..


    June 21, 2021 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Ford Cargo Van Repair Shop Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mercedes Camper Van Repair

    Good info. Lucky me I recently found your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!


    June 22, 2021 at 03:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. transformation training


    June 22, 2021 at 05:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Repair Services Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Air Conditioner Repair Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. life group


    June 22, 2021 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 2006 Mercedes Sprinter 2500 Turbo Actuator Repair


    June 22, 2021 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Services Near Me

    I was able to find good advice from your blog articles.


    June 22, 2021 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Internet Marketing Specialists


    June 22, 2021 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. reply all podcast

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to return yet again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    June 22, 2021 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Repair Centers Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Electrical Repair Near Me

    bookmarked!!, I really like your site!


    June 23, 2021 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Digital Marketing Businesses

    There is certainly a great deal to know about this subject. I like all the points you made.


    June 23, 2021 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Video Marketing Agency


    June 23, 2021 at 08:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Google Marketing Experts


    June 23, 2021 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Generator Repair Near Me

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues. It was really informative. Your site is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 23, 2021 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. salvation army near me

    You've made some decent points there. I checked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    June 23, 2021 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Air Conditioning Repair Near Me

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this page.


    June 23, 2021 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Roof Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Mobile Repair Service Near Me

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now 😉


    June 24, 2021 at 00:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair Store Near Me

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who was doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast simply because I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your web page.


    June 24, 2021 at 01:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Local Marketing Companies


    June 24, 2021 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Center Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 24, 2021 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Roof Repair Service Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. SEO Marketing Agency

    I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you book marked to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 24, 2021 at 09:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    This site really has all the info I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 24, 2021 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. rapid covid test near me

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest sites on the internet. I most certainly will recommend this blog!


    June 24, 2021 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Parts And Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Digital Marketing Company

    Very good information. Lucky me I came across your site by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!


    June 24, 2021 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Fridge Repair Near Me

    Great post. I will be going through some of these issues as well..


    June 24, 2021 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Store Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Repair Places Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Mobile Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. www.pharmaceptica.com

    c-tadalafil https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Refrigerator Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Ac Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Emergency RV Repair Near Me

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    June 25, 2021 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Shops Near My Location


    June 25, 2021 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Body Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Body Repair Shops Near Me

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for supplying this info.


    June 25, 2021 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Mobile Repair Near Me

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read articles from other authors and practice something from other web sites.


    June 25, 2021 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Camper Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Best RV Repair Near Me

    I was able to find good information from your blog posts.


    June 25, 2021 at 21:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Shops Nearby


    June 26, 2021 at 03:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Rigoberto Mcgaugh

    I couldnít resist commenting. Well written!


    June 26, 2021 at 03:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Shop Near My Location


    June 26, 2021 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. pharmacepticacom

    side effects hydroxychloroquine https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.