Monday, October 11, 2010

Fat deposits around the heart predict cardiac problems

After carrying out a new study on preventing major heart problems, cardiac imaging researchers at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute advise physicians to consider fatty deposits around the heart when evaluating patients' heart condition. Normally, measuring abdominal fat is enough to assess for heart problems but according to this new research, measuring fat around the heart is an even better predictor, and it can be done with a noninvasive CT scan. The article's first author and a leading authority on cardiac imaging is Daniel S. Berman, MD, chief of cardiac imaging at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and Cedars-Sinai's S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center. Under his direction, Cedars-Sinai finished the largest randomized trial of coronary artery calcium CT scanning, on 2,137 patients over the last four years. This technology is used to identify plaque deposits in heart arteries by identifying bits of calcium, that enter the plaque's composition. Also, a coronary artery CT scan can be used to assess fat around the heart and coronary arteries, and having these data gives a more precise evaluation of a patient's risk for major heart problems. This medical advice, appeared in an editorial published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging, and it was reinforced by another article in the journal, in which the scientists gave new evidence that related abdominal fat to instability of coronary arterial plaques

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