Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Heart disease, prevention - How to Contain the Coronary Disease Pandemic

As everybody knows, the Swine Flu epidemic may turn into a pandemic.

As everybody also knows, or should know, the coronary artery disease epidemic kills more Americans than any other disease, 400,000 each year, dwarfing the number likely to die from the Swine Flu virus.

Preventive Steps

The usual preventive stops suggested to prevent coronary disease are.

• Stop smoking.

• Lose weight.

• Identify and Treat hypertension.

• Lower LDL cholesterol.

• Exercise.

Spot it Early

There is another approach: spot heart disease early through a low-stress stress test administered at a doctor’s office or a fitness facility using a new alternative for the current high-risk coronary treadmill stress test that does not require a doctor in attendance should something go wrong, like a patient dropping dead on the treadmill.


The new low-stress coronary stress test is called SHAPE (System of Health and Pulmonary Evaluation). SHAPE is a fifth generation device evolving out of what’s been learned from past coronary testing. SHAPE has been exhaustively evaluated at the Mayo Clinic.

It may become the gold standard of alerting people to the presence of the risks of that dreaded killer. One other thing, while evaluating for the presence of coronary disease, SHAPE also evaluates lung function, which may be associated with coronary disease, e.g., smoking causes both coronary disease and chronic obstructive lung disease.


You can learn more about SHAPE by going to www.shapemedsytems.com. There you will learn SHAPE can be used for the following purposes.

• Assesses the presence of coronary disease.

• Predicts risk of hospitalization and death.

• Assesses pulmonary capacity.

• Monitors patient’s clinical response to therapy

No Risk, Repeatable

It does theses thing repeatedly without risk to the patient with automated interpretation of results, best judged and acted upon by a cardiologist.

The Shape Device

SHAPE consists of a 1 ½ step staircase, which the patient steps up and down upon and which a substitutes for the treadmill; a snorkel like device which tests for gas exchange in the lungs; and a laptop which interprets gas exchange data , integrates the data with amplified stair step information; and compares resulting data against a large database of patients with known outcomes to determine changes of morbidity and mortality.

One last thing. I am a big fan or clinical innovation and of basing that innovation on existing technology. You can never tell what the benefits will be when clinicians and physiologists are left to their own devices.

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