Identifying “at risk” individuals for Cardiovascular Disease.
Our testing identifies people who don’t even know or think they have a cardiovascular problem because they are non‐smokers, exercise and watch their diet.
The ASI can be viewed as another cardiovascular “risk factor”, just like high blood pressure or a cholesterol level above 200. A high to very high ASI value indicates a high to very high risk of
coronary artery disease. When added to other health risk factors can indicate a need for lifestyle modification.
It is a screening intended to provide basic information, and is not a diagnostic test but
to detect a potential problem. Participants are given a report to take home and share
with their doctor if they wish.
Arteries are responsible for moving the majority of blood through the vascular highway
of your body. Consequently, non‐flexible or hardened arteries can cause the heart to
work much harder when it is forced to push blood through partially occluded (blocked,
obstructed) arteries. This extra strain on the heart and the resulting blockages are a
root cause of cardiovascular disease.
The AEI is a number that correlates with arteriosclerosis. Because arteriosclerosis reduces flexibility in arteries, the higher the AEI, the more likely someone is to have hardening of the arteries. Artery stiffness indicates the level of plaque build‐up in arteries. The stiffer the artery, the more plaque there is clogging the arteries and restricting blood flow to the heart, leading to heart disease.
Heart Screen’s AEI testing can quickly and inexpensively test lost vessel flexibility. Many people are unaware that they are walking around with this “silent killer” until they experience their first heart attack from occluded vessels.
- The AEI screening is a 30‐second process.
- It is a blood pressure cuff hooked to a computer monitor.
- The cuff is placed on the left arm because the left brachial artery fills with plaque at the same rate as those in the heart.
- During the screening, an individual sits very still because the device is so sensitive it will pick up minute changes in activity level that would potentially skew the results.
- A bar graph appears showing how the brachial artery is compressed and how it springs back. What this is measuring is the AEI (Arterial Elasticity Index).
- Guidelines and recommendations with a printout are given after each test. It also reports blood pressure, pulse rate and pulse pressure.
The beauty of the AEI point out potential problems years before you would find out otherwise. And
with that advance knowledge, you may be able to get care earlier or take action to reverse the problem.
It has been estimated that 60‐70 million Americans harbor the silent killer and should make lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, changing their diet, quitting smoking and reducing their cholesterol. While everyone needs to adopt these changes, sometimes life‐style changes are just not enough.
Note: Arterial elasticity is an accepted predictor of cardiovascular risk, and improves when conditions such as hypertension are treated properly. Arterial elasticity is affected by aging, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.