In an effort to build on our previous Health column, the Executive Health Group would like to talk about
the process of evaluating your risk for cardiovascular disease. In our previous column, we highlighted
the futility of normal risk assessment. In today’s preventative environment, knowing that 88% of the
people who have a heart attack would be categorized as low risk, there must be a better way.
It is imperative to understand multiple factors. Vascular disease is the underlying root cause of heart
attacks, strokes and peripheral arterial disease. Understanding the number of particles that carry
cholesterol through your bloodstream; how to image your vascular system to look for early signs of
disease; how your blood reacts to inflammation; clotting, genetics and lastly how to measure for
inflammation in the arterial wall; are all important issues in a true assessment of modifiable factors that
affect your health outcome.
Other important considerations are your personal lifestyle habits, any sign of early diabetes/insulin
resistance and your stress levels. A thorough examination of all of these determinants of health, add up
to your overall cardiovascular risk assessment. It is difficult to achieve this level of detail in today’s
cattle call of primary care. To deliver this type of care it takes time and resources, but what is your
health worth, everything!