WHAT IS CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE?
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the number one cause of death and disability in both men and women.1 It is caused by a buildup of a waxy substance called plaque inside the major blood vessels of the heart. This plaque builds up over many years and may lead to the narrowing of blood vessels which limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Plaque sometimes ruptures, forming a blood clot that can completely block the flow of blood causing a heart attack. If this blockage continues for too long, the oxygen starved part of the heart might be permanently damaged. Most heart attacks are caused by blockages that come from soft plaque that breaks open suddenly. This soft plaque may not have ever been large enough to cause any noticeable symptoms or positive cardiac exercise stress tests. Consequently, there may be no warning signs of a heart attack before it happens.
WHAT IS THE PULS CARDIAC TEST?
The PULS Cardiac Test is a blood test designed to help identify people who appear healthy but may have active heart disease which could result in a heart attack. This test detects the early stages of heart disease by recognizing blood vessel injury and unstable plaque formation, even in patients who otherwise have no signs or symptoms. The PULS Cardiac Test measures protein markers in the blood that are linked to unstable plaque to see if a heart attack may be likely in the next five years.2
WHY IS THE PULS CARDIAC TEST A BETTER ASSESSMENT OF MY RISK FOR HEART DISEASE?
Traditional risk calculators rely on established risk factors to predict your likelihood for developing heart disease. However, these calculators may underestimate your risk.3,4 Sadly, half of severe heart attacks occur in adults with no – or just one – risk factor.5 The PULS Cardiac Test adds to these risk factors by also looking at markers of unstable plaque.2 This empowers your health care provider with information to better estimate your risk and manage your care.
While it is important to see your cardiologist, the tests that they provide are designed to see if you have a blockage in your artery that is significant enough to require either a heart stent or surgery. The PULS Cardiac Test differs from this as it allows you to understand your risk for a vulnerable plaque rupture, and more importantly allow us to help you reverse your disease risk. The best heart attack is the one that never happens.
Cardiac exercise stress tests can miss these dangerous blockages. That is where the PULS Cardiac Test can give you peace of mind or allow you to prevent a dangerous event.
WHAT CAUSES AN ELEVATED PULS SCORE?
When a large blood vessel is injured, your body responds by having the immune system work to repair the damage. Ongoing damage to the blood vessel can keep the immune system working in a way that leads to the unstable plaque that can cause a heart attack. The PULS Cardiac Test measures protein biomarkers that are involved in this damaging process.
WHY SHOULD I CHECK MY PULS SCORE?
Having your PULS Score checked can help you find out if you may be at a higher risk for a heart attack in the next five years. If we told you there was an accident on the way home, you would take a different route. Heart disease is the #1 preventable disease.
WHEN SHOULD MY PULS SCORE BE CHECKED?
Your PULS Score should be checked if you have one or more risk factors for coronary heart disease. This includes – but is not limited to – a family history of early heart disease, a poor diet/lifestyle, elevated LDL cholesterol, high blood sugar or diabetes, high blood pressure, you are overweight or obese, or exposed to toxins.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THE PULS CARDIAC TEST?
The PULS Cardiac Test is a blood test. You do not need to fast for this test.
WHAT CAN I DO TO LOWER MY PULS SCORE?
Focus on reducing risk factors. You can do this by:
- External CounterPulsation therapy to help stabilize plaque, strength the endothelial lining, and improve collateral blood flow.
- Eating many different foods that are low in sugar and processed foods. Have vegetables and fruit at every meal and drink more water instead of sweet drinks. This can help improve blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and lead to weight loss. Getting an individualized meal plan if struggling with the above.
- Staying physically active with regular exercise will help control weight, lower blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol levels. Exercising efficiently and effectively with a target heart rate. Avoid sitting for more than one hour at a time.
- Taking medications and supplements as recommended to lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, inflammation, and blood sugar levels.
- It is important that you talk with your medical provider to develop a plan that works for you.