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Giving a Preventive Heart Attack Test for Father’s Day Could Save Dad’s Life

A Father’s Day gift could discover heart attack-causing plaque in his arteries

Father's Day is a great time to have a heart-to-heart with Dad about heart health and the dangers of hidden plaque buildup in the arteries. SHAPE, The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (http://www.shapesociety.org), a leader in reducing the incidence of heart attacks, is encouraging families to take advantage of Father's Day as an opportunity to learn Dad's plaque score.

"One of the great advances in heart health has been the development of heart attack screening technologies that can assess the presence and severity of plaque buildup that causes heart attacks," said Dr. Morteza Naghavi, founder of SHAPE and Executive Chairman of SHAPE Task Force, which is comprised of leading doctors specializing in cardiology and cardiovascular research who developed the SHAPE Guidelines for prevention of heart attacks and stroke.

To accurately assess an individual's heart attack risk, the SHAPE Task Force recommends that most men ages 55 to 75 undergo one of two easy, fast, affordable and non-invasive screening tests. These two tests are:

  • Calcium Scoring CT Heart Scan
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT) Ultrasound

Either test can detect plaque build-up in arteries and give healthcare professionals the opportunity to take appropriate action before a heart attack occurs.

"Father's Day is a great time to make sure Dad is not among the hundreds of thousands of men in America who appear healthy but are actually a ticking time bomb," said Dr. PK Shah, professor of cardiology at UCLA and Director of Atherosclerosis Research Laboratories at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. "If we find out Dad is at risk, we can take immediate steps to reduce the risk of a heart attack and potentially save his life. Fortunately doctors have access to this life saving test."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year 525,000 Americans suffer a first heart attack, and many more experience their second and third attack. Sadly more than half of first heart attack victims die within an hour leaving their loved ones in pain and sorrow. This tragedy happens to so many families every day. The good news is that it can be prevented by early detection and intensive treatment.

Learn more about preventive heart attack tests by watching this SHAPE video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMoA7KZ85b0.

About SHAPE

Based in Houston, the Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) is a non-profit organization that promotes education and research related to prevention, detection, and treatment of heart attacks. SHAPE is committed to raising public awareness about revolutionary discoveries that are opening exciting avenues to prevent heart attacks. SHAPE's mission is to eradicate heart attacks in the 21st century. Additional information is available on the organization's Web site at www.shapesociety.org.

About SHAPE Task Force

The SHAPE Task Force, an international group of leading cardiovascular physicians and researchers, has created the SHAPE Guidelines, which educates physicians how to identify asymptomatic atherosclerosis (hidden plaques) and implement proper therapies to prevent a future heart attack. According to the SHAPE Guidelines, individuals with high risk atherosclerosis (high plaque score) should be treated even if their cholesterol level is within the so called "normal range." Knowing one's plaque score can be a matter of life and death. Additional information is available by calling 1-877-SHAPE11. And additional information is available at http://www.shapesociety.org.

The SHAPE Task Force includes the following:

Morteza Naghavi, M.D. - Executive Chairman
PK Shah, M.D. - Chair of Scientific Board
Erling Falk, M.D., Ph.D. - Chief of Editorial Committee

SHAPE Task Force Members (alphabetic order): Arthur Agatston, M.D., Daniel S. Berman, M.D., Matthew J. Budoff, M.D., Raimund Erbel, M.D., Erling Falk, M.D., Ph.D., Sergio Fazio, M.D., Ph.D., Steven B. Feinstein, M.D., Craig Hartley, Ph.D., Harvey S. Hecht, M.D., Howard Hodis, M.D., Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D., Sanjay Kaul, M.D., M.P.H., Asher Kimchi. M.D., Wolfgang Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., Iftikhar J. Kullo, M.D., Daniel Lane, M.D., Ph.D., Roxana Mehran, M.D., Ralph Metcalfe, Ph.D., Morteza Naghavi, M.D., Tasneem Z. Naqvi, M.D., Jagat Narula, M.D., Paolo Raggi, M.D., George P. Rodgers, M.D., James HF Rudd, Ph.D., Robert S. Schwartz, M.D., PK Shah, M.D., Leslee Shaw, M.D., David Spence, M.D., H. Robert Superko, M.D., Henrik Sillesen, M.D., Ph.D., Pierre-Jean Touboul, M.D.

Distinguished SHAPE Task Force Advisor: Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D.

Chair of SHAPE Board of Directors: JoAnne Zawitoski

SHAPE Task Force Public Relations: Daniel Keeney

Executive Director of SHAPE Centers of Excellence: Jeff Fine, Ph.D.

Chair of SHAPE Society Cardiology Club: Brenda Garrett Superko

More Stories By Daniel Keeney

Dan Keeney is the president of DPK Public Relations, which represents PULSE, The Aldridge Company, Schipul - The Web Marketing Company, Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication, ERHC Energy, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Arocha Hair Restoration among other companies. Specialties include helping organizations increase their positive visibility and establish and strengthen relationships with influencers in their markets.

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