November 30, 2018 – Personal Risk


Anchor lead: Should you take a statin or not? New cholesterol guidelines have been released, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Seems like everyone is on a statin to reduce their cholesterol. Now new guidelines released at the recent American Heart Association meeting recommend first, prevention, followed by a personalized approach to management. Roger Blumenthal, one of the guideline’s developers and a professor of cardiology at Johns Hopkins, says there is also a role for coronary calcium scanning.

Blumenthal: The guidelines also say that if the patient or the clinician is still uncertain about what a person’s risk really is then a coronary calcium scan is really the best way to determine if someone’s at very high risk or very low risk. If you have a family history of heart disease but you don’t know if you take after that one relative who had bypass surgery in his fifties or you take after other relatives who lived into their nineties and were still playing tennis. The best snapshot in time of what a person’s personal risk is is the selective use of a coronary calcium scan.  :30

Blumenthal notes that coronary calcium scanning is also quick and inexpensive. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.