Step 2: Why is my risk high?

heart attack and stroke risk factors:

Don't calculate your risk. Test your arteries!

Dr. Robert Superko, author of the book Before the Heart Attacks, loves to ask doctors: "Why do we stop, when we diagnose coronary artery disease? We should be asking 'What are the diseases behind the artery disease?'"

A risk factor is anything that increases your risk of having an event. (By "events" we mean heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.) Risk factors are the source of your risk.

The second step: get an evaluation to find out why you have artery disease.

An evaluation requires an extensive series of blood tests and other testing (most of which can be done anywhere in the U,S,). Then patients come to Atlanta for a face to face meeting to review our findings.

Why lots of tests? There are over 200 risk factors for heart disease. Insurance covers almost all of them. Some insurance companies don’t cover genetic testing.

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There are two types of risk factors: active and passive.

Active risk factors make the artery disease worse. These are forces that actively contribute to the disease process by accelerating atherosclerosis. Others are passive markers for arterial inflammation but do not actually accelerate it.

These active risk factors are disease accelerators:

Although these risk factors are associated with increased risk, they do not accelerate artery disease. These are important passive markers for arterial inflammation:

This is only a partial list. There are over 200 different risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.

Can stress cause heart disease? Stress causes release of adrenaline, which may contribute to conditions that make an unstable vulnerable plaque rupture (1). We believe stress also has a potent indirect effect on heart disease, manifested by stress-eating and by postponing physical activity and medical care.

waist size is a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes

knowing your risk factors is not enough

Risk calculators are based on the idea that we can use your risk factors to calculate your 10 year risk. Knowing your risk factors is important. But risk factors can never answer the question, "Do I have artery disease?" Artery tests can!