Patients are surprised and dismayed to learn that until very recently, there has been no equivalent technology to the mammogram (for breast cancer) for diagnosing cardiovascular disease. That is, there was no reliable way to image the diseased tissue in the coronary arteries that ruptured and caused heart attacks and strokes. Now that method exists, as of August 2022. Our office is referring to that test. Up to now, we have used a blood test using seven biomarkers that is very advanced is an accurate measure of risk, and generally correlates to the new imaging.

The Tortoise and the Hare

Do you know the story of the tortoise and the hare? The hare runs faster and takes a nap on the way, so it’s the tortoise who plugs away and ends up winning the race, even though the hare made a mad dash at the end. We glorify surgeons who perform bypasses around diseased arteries to keep blood flowing. But that is a last-ditch solution to save a patient and the risk is that it doesn’t work or that the damage is so great that disability and decline are inevitable. Prevention is a slow and steady process. But it works if it is started soon enough, if the focus is accurate, and the patient follows through. Don’t count on being saved at the last minute.