When is a heart scan score of 400 better than 200?

Imagine two people.

Tom is a 50-year old man. Tom's initial heart scan score is 500--a bad score that carries a 5% or more risk for heart attack per year.

Harry is also 50 years old. His heart scan score is 100--also a concerning score but not with the same dangers of Tom's much higher score.

Tom follows a powerful heart disease prevention program like the Track Your Plaque program. He achieves the 60:60:60 lipid targets; chooses healthy foods; takes fish oil; raises his blood vitamin D level to >50 ng/ml, etc. One year later, Tom's heart scan score is 400, a 20% reduction from his starting score.

Harry, on the other hand, doesn't understand the implications of his score. Neither does his doctor. He's casually provided a prescription for a cholesterol drug by his doctor but nothing else. One year later, Harry's heart scan score is 200, a doubling (100% increase) of the original score.

At this point, we're left with Tom having a score of 400, Harry with a score of 200. That is, Tom has twice the score, or 200 points higher, compared to Harry. Who's better off?

Tom is better off. Even though he has a significantly higher score, Tom's plaque is regressing. It is therefore quiescent with its components being extracted, inflammation subsiding, the artery is in a more relaxed state, etc.

Harry's plaque, in contrast, is active and growing: inflammatory cells are abundant and producing enzymes that degrade supportive tissue, excessive constrictive factors are constantly causing the artery to pinch partially closed, fatty materials are accumulating and triggering a cascade of abnormal responses.

This is therefore a peculiar situation in which a higher score is actually better than a lower score. It reflects the power of adhering to a preventive program. It also demonstrates how two scans are better than one because they show the rate of increase given a particular preventive approach.
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Our friends at Liposcience

Our friends at Liposcience

A number of Track Your Plaque Members are still outraged at LabCorp's failure to convey the results of page 2 of the NMR Lipoprofile, as provided by Liposcience, Inc., the testing laboratory that actually performs the test. We've gotten an audience at both Liposcience and LabCorp, though no real progress in obtaining this information has yet been made.

Anyway, that's not what I'd like to focus on. Despite the tremendous aggravation created by this incomprehensible glitch, NMR Lipoprofile remains, in my view, the best way to discover hidden sources of risk for heart disease and the most powerful way to develop a coronary plaque/heart scan score control program.

We could do without NMR, but I think that we'd pay a price in effectiveness. We'd be, in effect, driving blindly when it comes to certain lipoprotein patterns. Some abnormalities, like intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) and LDL particle number, are superior to similar measures (like apoprotein B and direct LDL) and yield priceless information that is simply not obtainable as reliably by any other method.

I've had my share of negative experiences with the marketing director and the staff at Liposcience, but it's the vision of company founder and inventor of the technology, biochemist Dr. James Otvos, that should continue to shine. Dr. Otvos' ingenious technology to fractionate plasma proteins has provided an advantage for coronary plaque reversal and reduction of CT heart scan scores that no other method can provide as well.

For a useful discussion on basic lipoprotein science, listen to the discussion provided by Dr. William Cromwell of Liposcience by clicking on the graphic below:

Comments (6) -

  • Ross

    10/26/2007 9:53:00 PM |

    What's on page 2 of the report that's being concealed from patients?

  • Dr. Davis

    10/27/2007 1:27:00 AM |

    The graphic display of data and IDL are the most notable omissions.

  • Anonymous

    10/27/2007 10:53:00 PM |

    Off topic:

    Hi Dr. Davis. I was wondering if you were considering writing a book?

    Sounds to me like a good way to help spread the word - both to average people and MDs - about your heart disease prevention findings.

  • Dr. Davis

    10/27/2007 11:10:00 PM |

    Track Your Plaque, the book detailing these concepts, is available through Amazon.

    Because I wrote it in 2003-2004, there is updated information that is better accessed via the website accompanying this blog, www.trackyourplaque.com.

  • Anonymous

    10/27/2007 11:57:00 PM |

    Hi Dr Davis,

    The lipoprofile teleconference was very informative, but I was not able to access it by clicking on the graphic.  Instead I used:

    http://www.lipoprofile.com/teleconference/slide.asp?Slide=0&auto=1

    Thanks!  kat1

  • Anonymous

    10/28/2007 6:00:00 PM |

    re: book

    Thank you, I didn't know it existed. I'll check it out.

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