One of the most insidious health risks and major causes of death in western society is due to cardiovascular disease (CVD). As most heart attacks occur after 80-90% of an artery is blocked with atherosclerotic plaquing this can truly be called a "silent killer" as the first symptom is in fact a potentially fatal one!
Consequently, a screening tool that can establish cardiovascular risk is essential in being able to determine if you are a potential candidate for this problem. Obviously family history, weight, and cholesterol levels are important and are all part of our assessment procedure.
We also utilise a CardioVision instrument, which in addition to measuring blood pressure, pulse pressure and rate, gives information on the stiffness or flexibility of the brachial artery in the arm. This latter value is termed the Arterial Stiffness Index (ASI) and correlates with progressive levels of arteriosclerosis in the coronary and carotid arteries. As arteriosclerosis is a disease that reduces flexibility in the arterial wall, the higher the ASI, the more likely hardening of these arteries is occurring.
As the flexibility is lost there is greater demand put on the heart to force the blood through the arterial system. This is the root cause of cardiovascular disease.
The actual test is non-invasive, as it consists of several repeated blood pressures measurements that are recorded and then correlated in a computer against an existing database. This produces a coronary arterial risk factor that ranges from none to very high. In addition, variables in the readings have been shown to give indications to consider if the following conditions are also present:
- Intense stress
- And potential heart failure.
Following the test, appropriate therapies can then be advised depending upon the results. If indicated, treatment with EDTA chelation therapy has a high correlation with a reduction of the Arterial Stiffness Index
To accurately evaluate the molecular environment underlying cardiovascular disease (CVD), it's necessary to assess various biomarkers that influence the synergistic dynamics of this multifactorial process. These markers provide insight into interrelated CVD mechanisms such as inflammation, accumulation of fatty deposits, the function and integrity of the endothelium (the inner layer of cells lining blood vessel walls), glucose/insulin response, blood clotting function, and other important factors.
- C-Reactive Protein
- Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome
All these biomarkers can exert a combined effect on cardiovascular disease that is even greater than the sum of their individual parts. For this reason, assessing these markers together with all other risk factors is crucial.