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Early Cardiovascular Detection at the Fin

HeartJun 26, 08

The recent tragic death of beloved NBC newsman Tim Russert has reinforced the importance of cardiovascular health. Mr. Russert’s death has raised fear among Americans as to how, in this day and age, a relatively healthy middle-aged person could suffer a fatal heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, however, despite numerous messages over the years on diet and exercise, cardiovascular disease remains the nation’s leading cause of death.

“It is important for Americans to know just how deadly cardiovascular disease is,” says Debbie Williams, RN, VP of Medical Affairs for Meridian Co. Ltd., a company that has developed a new instrument, the Digital Pulse Analyzer (DPA), which provides early detection of arterial wall stiffness and arteriosclerosis. “As a system for measuring the biological aging pattern of arteries rapidly and non-invasively, DPA serves as an early warning system for cardiovascular health throughout a person’s lifetime.”

Early detection of cardiovascular disease will not eliminate heart attacks, but it can help people adopt lifestyle changes and introduce medical intervention that may reduce both the number and severity of serious cardiovascular events.

Conventional cardiovascular diagnostic measures like angiograms, MRIs, sonograms, and blood analysis can be expensive, time consuming, invasive, and cause discomfort. The DPA uses a small probe fitted around a patient’s finger, with a light-based sensor to detect pulse characteristics in less than five minutes. Although patients may need this more extensive testing if they are symptomatic, it is vital that more focus is placed on early detection and prevention.

“Various risk-factors, including aging, genetics, and lifestyle, affect the loss of arterial elasticity, a precursor to hypertension and more serious cardiovascular conditions,” explains Ms. Williams. “Practitioners can use the information provided by the DPA as a powerful tool for early recognition of risk, thus allowing them to prescribe treatments or recommendations for lifestyle changes before serious cardiovascular problems develop.”

The DPA also measures heart rate variability (HRV), which is defined as the beat-to-beat differences in heart rate that vary significantly in healthy individuals. Low HRV is an indicator/predictor of illness and mortality, especially sudden cardiac death. Other conditions associated with low HRV include depression, anxiety, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and diabetes.

“In order to promote a healthy heart Americans need to exercise and watch their weight and diet,” explains Ms. Williams. “The DPA provides a simple way for people to monitor their cardiovascular health through regular visits to their health practitioners.”

Source: Meridian Co. Ltd

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