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Posts Tagged ‘vascular screening’

SignatureMD Partners with Life Line Screening

January 28, 2011

SignatureMD is partnering with Life Line Screening to provide its physicians and their patients access to preventive health screenings. Through this collaboration, SignatureMD physicians will refer patients to Life Line Screening sites to undergo various tests including vascular screeningsType-2 diabetes screenings, and osteoporosis screenings among others. With Life Line Screening, physicians will be better able recognize a patient’s risk for disease, and implement lifestyle changes and a complete medical plan. It is through this comprehensive evaluation and individualized attention that will allow SignatureMD physicians to help their patients lead healthier, fuller lives.

Read press release announcement in full detail.

SignatureMD is a privately held, consumer healthcare services company, founded in 2007 and headquartered in Santa Monica, California with physicians’ offices around the country. SignatureMD offers a patient-centered, wellness-focused, efficient health-care delivery system. SignatureMD’s network of doctors approach medicine by building a relationship with the patient and focusing on preventive care to ensure a longer, healthier life.

Aortic Aneurysm Claims Life of US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke

December 15, 2010

USA Today reports on that Richard Holbrooke, US Special Ambassador to Afghanistan and Pakistan, died Monday after surgeons tried to repair an aortic aneurysm.

The aorta is the largest artery in the body that runs from the chest to the torso. The specific type of aortic aneurysm that claimed 69-year-old Holbrooke’s life appears to have been a thoracic aortic aneurysm up close to his heart. It is much less common than an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which occurs in the region just above, at level, or below the kidneys.

Needless to say, no matter what type or how common, any aneurysm of the aorta is life threatening. Keep in mind, though, that aortic aneurysms take a long time to develop and are detectable and repairable before they become critical.

This is a fact that also resonates in the article, written by Rita Rubin of USA Today, which states that, “Aortic aneurysms don’t cause symptoms, but screening with ultrasound and sometimes CT or MRI scans can detect them before they tear, when they can be easily surgically repaired.”

 Life Line Screening has always provided access to abdominal aortic aneurysm preventive screening services for anyone, regardless of insurance status, who is concerned about their risk of AAA. However, we also recommend that everyone stay proactive with their health by scheduling regular medical checkups and talking with their physician about the risk of aortic aneurysm.

Just as Dr. Cam Patterson, Chief of Cardiology in The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, is quoted in the article, “This isn’t something that will change in months or even years,” Patterson says of aortic aneurysms. “This is something that takes decades to develop.” Holbrooke’s death “emphasizes to me that patients should look physicians in the eye and say, ‘Is this something I need to worry about?’ ”

 You can read the USA Today article in its entirety at:

Visit Life Line Screening today if you want more information risks for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), the most common type of aortic aneurysm.

Yes, Some Preventive Screenings Offered Free; but Not All

July 20, 2010

The new health care reform law will allow many consumers to get certain preventive services with no out-of-pocket cost.

But many screenings you think would be covered, such as the vascular screenings Life Line Screening offers, will not be covered under this law, so it is important to know what services are allowed and what you will still need to obtain for yourself.

Screenings covered will vary depending on your gender, age and risk factors but will include:

  • Immunizations for children and adults, if those shots have been approved by the CDC
  • Colorectal cancer screening for adults over age 50
  • HIV screening
  • Depression screening
  • Bone density for women aged 65 and over
  • Hepatitis B and tobacco counseling for pregnant women
  • Childhood vision and hearing screenings
  • Blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests
  • Smoking cessation and obesity/weight loss counseling

Mammograms will also be covered. Last year, you may remember that there was a great deal of controversy around mammograms when a government task force changed the recommendations and said that women between 40 and 50 do not need regular mammograms. This caused an uproar among cancer groups, patient groups and doctors. Lawmakers got around this by inserting a provision into the new law that covers mammograms for women older than 40.

Not all health plans need to abide by these new rules. Only plans beginning after September 23rd are required to provide the no-cost screenings, or existing plans that have altered their structure considerably. Plans that do not change are “grandfathered” in and are not required to offer the free screenings.

Most health care reform changes will not be fully implemented for several years. In the meantime, talk to your doctor and family about what is what right for you, what is available for you under your plan, and consider that not all services will suddenly be available for free. Your best bet is still to evaluate what screenings you need based on your health and risk factors and make decisions that feel right for you.

And, of course, Life Line Screening will still be here for you, offering convenient, affordable preventive screenings that have helped millions of people take control of their health since 1993.


“A man is as old as his arteries,” says Wall Street Journal

June 14, 2010

The Wall Street Journal ran a terrific article on heart disease risk in the beginning of this month. Ron Winslow’s article is a must-read if you are interested in arterial health and staying out of the heart attack and stroke wards.

One of the most powerful aspects of the article is the accompanying graphic, entitled The Age of Your Arteries. As the graphic illustrates, your arteries age every decade, beginning to build plaque in your 30’s and 40’s and steadily worsening into your 50’s and 60’s. The graphic took up most of the page in the hard copy version and you can’t help but be impressed by the effect age has on artery damage.

The focus of the article is a paper that appeared in the journal Circulation last August. The paper documented a new way of calculating “vascular age.” This age represents how old your arteries are on the inside, as opposed to your calendar age. For example, a 40 year old woman who smokes and has high blood pressure may have a vascular age of 60, with the corresponding loss of life years.

The Real Age folks have been talking about this type of calculation for a while and Dr. Oz uses this technique on his popular TV show as well. It is powerful because it shows people that what is happening on the inside, where it counts, is not always recognizable or visible. You can still look good on the outside, but be really sick on the inside. Plaque buildup is silent and you cannot feel it and you do not know it is there. But silently, it is building and it is putting you at risk.

Calculating vascular age using a short quiz is fun, and helpful, but if you really want to know what is going on you need to look. That is what Life Line Screening does and has been doing since 1993. We’ve been helping people figure out their real age with real images and advanced testing, all at a reasonable price. Take the quiz… and then, get the vascular screening test. This will give you the best information available.

Younger People Have Strokes, Too

May 18, 2010

As the recent stroke of Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden, shows, younger people can have strokes too.  While certainly rarer, strokes can and do happen at any age.

While news reports are not yet saying what caused Mr. Biden’s stroke, and they may never as that is truly his private health information, we do know that he has one important risk factor for vascular disease.  His father had a brain aneurysm in his mid-’40’s. This family history certainly places the younger Mr. Biden at risk. 

The good news is that Beau Biden is supposed to make a full recovery, but you get bet that he is getting a full work-up and will be monitored very carefully in the future. In some ways he is lucky. This mini-stroke gives him warning that he is at risk. Many people do not know they are at risk until they have the stroke. Most strokes simply do not come with a warning sign.

You can’t control your family history but you can control your weight, whether you smoke and other lifestyle risk factors. You can also monitor your cholesterol and glucose and consider vascular screenings, particularly as you hit age 50.


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