In Monday’s post, I introduced the topic of advanced cardiovascular testing which greatly improves our ability to determine risk for heart attack and stroke. This approach allows for more specific and appropriate use of therapies, prevents disabling events and saves lives. It is consistent with VitalSigns’ approach of “medically based wellness”. It combines the cutting edge of preventive technologies with lifestyle medicine which emphasizes healthy behaviors first. With advanced testing we are able to monitor the health benefits of lifestyle changes such as improved diet, increased exercise, reduced stress and better sleep. We are then able to adjust programs for greater gains. For example, we are able to intelligently adjust diet based on specific test results. When absolutely needed, we add medications but always look to remove them when appropriate. The tests I’m referring to fall into 3 categories: 1. Imaging such as carotid intimal media thickness (cIMT) 2. Biomarkers such as tests for inflammation and genetic tests like Apo E genotype. 3. Lipoproteins such as LDL particle number and particle size. I’ll explain each of these in future posts starting with cIMT which has been around for a while but is only beginning to be used effectively. It’s very exciting technology which allows us to watch vessels heal!