Showing patients images of their clogged arteries a powerful wake-up call

March 26, 2012
Showing patients images of their clogged arteries a powerful wake-Up call
They were more likely to take statins, lose weight afterwards, studies find.

(HealthDay) -- Showing patients with clogged arteries evidence of their condition makes them more likely to stick with treatments such as weight loss and cholesterol-lowering statins, two related studies found.

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease in Americans, but many patients fail to adhere to therapies that can treat or prevent heart disease. For example, patient compliance with statin therapy has been reported to be as low as 20 percent to 50 percent, the researchers said.

The two studies included patients who underwent scoring with , a test that takes clear, detailed pictures of the heart.

Patients with the most severe who saw images of their heart were 2.5 times more likely to take statins as directed, and more than three times more likely to lose weight as those whose scans showed little or no evidence of disease.

The studies were scheduled for presentation Saturday at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) annual meeting in Chicago.

"Beyond the diagnostic and of , it is also quite beneficial in terms of motivating people to pursue behaviors that we know result in a reduction in cardiovascular" disease and death, Dr. Nove Kalia, one of the lead investigators for both studies, said in an ACC news release.

"Seeing a coronary artery calcium scan gives patients a visual picture of how severe their disease is, and this picture seems to have a really big impact," Kalia added. "With increasing use of noninvasive imaging, it seems we already have a powerful tool in helping to motivate patients to be compliant. While we haven't clarified whether this increased compliance results in reductions in [heart] event rates, we have extrapolated that this would likely be the case. I think we may find this can also help improve outcomes."

Explore further: CT angiography improves detection of heart disease in African-Americans

More information: The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about coronary artery disease.

Related Stories

CT angiography improves detection of heart disease in African-Americans

June 28, 2011
Researchers may have discovered one reason that African Americans are at increased risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.

Recommended for you

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.