A diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology, Dr. Thomas Hight finished medical school at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, completing his internship in a joint program at the Univ. of Tennessee and Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, where he completed his residency in general internal medicine, and stayed for several years to teach and work in private practice.
Dr. Hight then served as Clinical Instructor in the Division of Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Center for the Health Sciences in Denver, working as a general internist at Rose Medical Center in a group of endocrinologists, where diabetes and pre-diabetic metabolic conditions were commonly associated with cardiovascular events.
On being recruited to Atlanta by Promina (now Wellstar™), Dr Hight joined a cardiology group, Drs. Mims, Holladay and Newton. Heart attacks and strokes were much more common here than in a general primary care practice. It was in that setting, working as a general internist alongside three cardiologists, that Dr. Hight began to realize how frequently patients were having CV events who were non-smokers with normal cholesterol and blood pressure readings.
Dr. Hight’s passion for innovation led him to become an early adapter of EBCT (Electron Beam CT) scanning technology for early detection of coronary disease. He has admittedly had an odd career path. Grounded in the primary care values of healing and prevention and armed with special skills from his work in endocrinology and cardiology, Dr. Hight brings a unique perspective to patient care.
Known for his ability to lower the risk for recurrent events in the highest risk patients who've already suffered heart attacks and strokes, Dr. Hight welcomes the most difficult-to-treat patients.
"One of the biggest challenges in medicine," according to Dr. Hight, "is getting patients to buy into the idea that what they do matters, even the little things. Personalized medicine and personal genetics are very important. For the vast majority of patients, the habit of making small wise choices every day gains momentum over time, eventually growing the cumulative power to neutralize their genetics."
The Boston Heart Diagnostics “heart matters™” study on former NFL players:
Dr. Hight served as the Atlanta site director for a study co-sponsored by Boston Heart Diagnostics and the Living Heart Foundation, evaluating the effects of an intensive lifestyle management program on lipid-related bio-markers in former NFL players in four cities. The study is being prepared for publication.
The Corus®CAD REGISTRY 1 study:
Vargas, et al, Diagnostic Use of the Corus® CAD Gene Expression Test for Assessment of Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease Likelihood in Symptomatic Non-Diabetic Patients. PLoS Curr. 2013 August 26; 5: ecurrents.eogt.0f04f6081905998fa92b99593478aeab. Published online 2013 August 26.
Dr. Hight was one of seven primary care physicians who served as site directors for this study using a multiple RNA gene expression test to assess patients for obstructive (surgically significant) coronary disease who had chest pain or similar symptoms.
The Cherokee County Firefighters Study:
Coronary Artery Calcification Scoring: A Better Tool for Risk Stratification in Firefighters. Abstract/poster presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Meeting, April, 2012
Dr. Hight participated in this study of 59 Cherokee County Firefighters, designed and implemented by Drs, Robert Superko, Basil Margolis, Stephen Frohwein and Jason Reingold, comparing the strategies of using the Reynolds Risk Score or CT Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring to determine cardiovascular risk, which was co-sponsored by Saint Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta and Berkeley HeartLabs. In this study, compared to the Reynolds Risk Score which classified 91.5% in the lowest risk category, CAC scoring effectively re-classified almost half the firefighters into a higher risk category. Those higher risk individuals were then referred to an aggressive risk factor reduction program using the Berkeley advanced lipid bio-markers and dieticians.
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