Monthly Archives: June 2006

Dr. Ornish: Get with the program!

In the era up until the 1980s, most Americans indulged in excessive quantities of saturated fats: fried chickem, spare ribs, French fries, gravy, bacon, Crisco, butter, etc. Along came people like Nathan Pritikin and Dr. Dean Ornish, both of whom … Continue reading

Posted in Nutrition | 2 Comments

The cholesterol fallacy

Evan spotted the kiosk set up in the middle of the local mall. “Free cholesterol screenings. Know your heart health!” the sign declared. It was a free cholesterol screening being offered by a local hospital. The friendly nurse behind the … Continue reading

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“Heart disease a growth business”

So announced a Boston newspaper recently, featuring a story about new heart program at a local hospital. They were announcing how a hospital had entered the cardiovasculare procedure game and how it would boost their bottom line. The article discussed … Continue reading

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The myth of small LDL

Annie’s doctor was puzzled. Despite an HDL cholesterol of 76 mg (spectacular!) and LDL of 82 mg, her CT heart scan showed a score of 135. At age 51, this placed her in the 90th percentile. Not as bad, perhaps, … Continue reading

Posted in Lipoproteins | 1 Comment

My stress test was normal. I don’t need a heart scan!

Katy had undergone a stress test while being seen in an emergency room, where she’d gone one weekend because of a dull pain on the right side of her chest. After her stress test proved normal, she was diagnosed (I … Continue reading

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Patient-napping: Yet another reason to stay clear of hospitals!

When I started practicing medicine around 20 years ago, it was common practice to alert a physician when their patient was seen in an emergency room. If John Smith, for example, went to the emergency room with chest pain, the … Continue reading

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Don’t believe the negative press on fish oil

A British Medical Journal study released in March, 2006 has prompted a media flurry of reports on the worthlessness of fish oil. (Hooper L, Thompson RL, Harrison RA et al. Risks and benefits of omega 3 fats for mortality, cardiovascular … Continue reading

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How important is high blood pressure?

Control of blood pressure is crucial for coronary plaque control and stopping your heart scan score from increasing. Dr. Mehmet Oz (of Oprah fame and a cardiac transplant surgeon at Columbia University) made graphic point of this on the ABC … Continue reading

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Is your doctor in cahoots with the hospital?

I got a call from a doctor about a patient we’ve seen in past. “I’ve got Tricia in the office. She’s been having some kind of chest and abdominal pain. I think it’s esophageal reflux, but just to be safe … Continue reading

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Where is the Track Your Plaque program going?

I spend a lot of time worrying about how people can be helped to navigate through this program. Take, for instance, the man in rural Texas who, while traveling in Dallas, got a heart scan on a whim. His score … Continue reading

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