Recommendations for the Five Essential Components of the Plan To help the public health community implement the Action Plan impotent rage definition order levitra 10mg, specific recommendations were developed by five Expert Panels erectile dysfunction medication online discount levitra express. These panels addressed the five essential components of the plan?taking action erectile dysfunction treatment psychological generic levitra 10 mg free shipping, strengthening capacity erectile dysfunction late 20s cheap levitra online, evaluating impact, advancing policy, and engaging in regional and global partnerships. Their work was synthesized by a Working Group into 22 recommendations, which are presented here according to the Expert Panel that produced them. As described in Section 1, interventions that address policy and environmental change can have population-wide impact. Such changes represent the coming era of chronic disease prevention and health promotion. Act now to implement the most promising public health programs and practices for achieving the four goals for preventing heart disease and stroke, as distinguished by the 47 Public Health Action Plan to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke Healthy People 2010 Heart and Stroke Partnership based on the different intervention approaches that apply. These goals are prevention of risk factors, detection and treatment of risk factors, early identification and treatment of heart attacks and strokes, and prevention of recurrent cardiovascular events. Public health agencies and their partners must provide continuous leadership to identify and recommend new and effective interventions that are based on advances in program evaluation and prevention research and a growing inventory of best practices. Taking action based on current knowledge presupposes a well-founded inventory of programs and practices and assessment of their potential effectiveness. Such an inventory is required in relation to the four Healthy People 2010 Heart and Stroke Partnership goals (which are based on the one Healthy People 2010 goal for preventing heart disease and stroke2). Selected programs and practices must also be implemented on a sufficient scale to permit meaningful evaluation of their impact. Address all opportunities for prevention to achieve the full potential of preventive strategies. Such opportunities include major settings (schools, work sites, health care settings, communities, and families), all age groups (from conception through the life span), and whole populations, particularly priority populations (based on race/ethnicity, sex, disability, economic condition, or place of residence). Only a comprehensive approach can most effectively control the progressive development of risk factors and disease outcomes. In this approach, multiple programs must often be coordinated if all major risk factors are to be addressed in all settings for all population groups. Public health officials and their partners in the health care delivery system and other areas also must assure to the fullest extent possible that clinical guidelines and treatment recommendations for addressing risk factors when they are present. Strengthening Capacity: Transforming the Organization and Structure of Public Health Agencies and Partnerships 5. The large and growing level of disparity among certain racial and ethnic populations adds urgency to this need. Create a training system to develop and maintain appropriately trained public health workforces at national, state, and local levels. The necessary competencies go beyond traditional public health knowledge to encompass practical skills such as developing and maintaining partnerships and coalitions, defining and identifying the burden and status of chronic diseases, and knowing how to incorporate sound business practices. Few academic training opportunities to learn these essential skills exist in currently available curricula, including master of public health programs. New workers require on-the-job training or other informal means to acquire these skills. Several training options are proposed in Section 4 to meet the needs of local, state, and national public health workers. Although health agencies and organizations can develop personnel capacities through episodic training, continuous availability of technical support through consultation and information sharing can enhance the effectiveness of staff with sufficient previous training. Evaluating Impact: Monitoring the Burden, Measuring Progress, and Communicating Urgency 9. Examples include mortality, incidence, prevalence, disability, selected biomarkers, risk factors and risk behaviors, economic burden, community and environmental characteristics, current policies and programs, and sociodemographic factors. Existing data sources do not adequately support current population wide surveillance and evaluation priorities. Establish a network of data systems for evaluation of policy and program interventions that can track the progress of evolving best practices and signal the need for changes in policies and programs over time. This network would support the full development, collection, and analysis of the data needed to examine program effectiveness. The scientific basis for public health policy and programs in heart disease and stroke prevention must be continually strengthened. A prerequisite for achieving this recommendation is to build data systems that can evaluate health burdens, health practice experiences, and the possible opportunities for new policy and program development. Develop the public health infrastructure, build personnel competencies, and enhance communication systems so that federal, state, and local public health agencies can communicate surveillance and evaluation results in a timely and effective manner. Communicating health information is essential to assuring the timely application of proven interventions for the greatest public health benefit. Strengthening the capacity of public health systems to collect and use information will stimulate policy development and lead to more effective programs and a greater ability to measure their impact. Once the priorities are identified, determine the best methods for translating, disseminating, and sustaining them. For example, research is needed to assess community-wide interventions aimed at maintaining and restoring low blood cholesterol levels and low blood pressure, which help prevent atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. To quickly and effectively translate science into practice and improve health outcomes, researchers must identify barriers and implement interventions that prove successful. Design, plan, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive intervention for children and youth in school, family, and community settings. This intervention must address dietary imbalances, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and other 51 Public Health Action Plan to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke determinants in order to prevent development of risk factors and progression of atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Second, many health behaviors are established in childhood and youth, when they are more susceptible to change. Fifth, emerging evidence on biomarkers of risk may point to specific groups especially likely to benefit from intervention. Conduct and facilitate research on improvements in surveillance methods and data collection and management methods for policy development, environmental change, performance monitoring, identification of key indicators, and capacity development. Address population subgroups in various settings (schools, work sites, health care, communities) at local, state, and national levels. Additionally, assess the impact of new technologies and regulations on surveillance systems and the potential benefit of alternative methods. Existing surveillance systems do not collect sufficient data in many of these areas. Thus, the ability to make evidence-based improvements in policy and capacity development is limited. Declining survey response rates and increased cell phone use, caller identification technologies, and privacy protections impede collection of data representative of many target populations. Because future innovations could produce communication methods more useful for data collection, methodological research must continue to adapt. Conduct and support research to determine the most effective marketing messages and educational campaigns to create demand for heart-healthy options, change behavior, and prevent heart disease and stroke for specific target groups and settings. Research on this topic can contribute substantially 52 Recommendations to the impact of marketing and public education about heart disease and stroke and increase the return on investment. Research collaborations that bring interested parties together should achieve a major?if gradual?transition in which public interest and demand for healthy options continue to provide a sustainable economic market for the food industry. Current training programs in prevention research are too few and too small to develop the large cadre of skilled researchers needed to conduct the program effectiveness research and other investigations recommended in this plan. Engaging in Regional and Global Partnerships: Multiplying Resources and Capitalizing on Shared Experience 17. These efforts can build on existing partnerships, thereby increasing the net investment of effort and resources, and draw on the strengths of the public health community. Globalization affects many aspects of health among people in the United States and worldwide. Strengthen global capacity to develop, implement, and evaluate policy and program interventions to prevent and control heart disease and stroke. Involve all relevant parties?governmental and nongovernmental, public and private, and traditional and nontraditional partners?in a systematic and strategic approach. Thus, public health agencies in the United States and their partners can play a significant role in supporting global efforts to prevent and control heart disease and stroke. In addition, partnerships limited only to organizations and agencies within the health sector will be less effective, especially globally, because effective interventions must be multidimensional. Further, the potential for expanding resources and commitments to preventive policies and programs increases as participation grows. A set of standard elements that could or should be collected in a monitoring system is needed. Through technical assistance, public health agencies in the United States and their partners could contribute to this development.
If nerves are damaged erectile dysfunction caused by supplements purchase levitra without a prescription, the roughly against the skin erectile dysfunction treatment nj levitra 20 mg with mastercard, causing damage to impotence lower back pain cost of levitra the laceration may not be painful erectile dysfunction doctor in los angeles buy levitra 10mg on line. This is and sometimes the underlying tissue, is partially because scraping of the outer skin layers exposes or completely torn away. However, susceptible to avulsion wounds as a result of a because of the mechanism of injury (usually a fall or other trauma because their skin is fragile sliding fall), abrasions are often contaminated and tears easily. A gunshot wound is also a A laceration is a cut, commonly caused by a puncture wound. Types of open wounds include abrasions (A), lacerations (B), avulsions (C) and puncture wounds (D). First Aid Care for Open Wounds Many open wounds are minor and can be cared for effectively using first aid. However, if the wound is deep or extensive, bleeding heavily or uncontrollably, or carries a high risk for infection. Rinse under warm running water for about 5 minutes until the wound appears clean and free of debris, and then dry the area. Apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment, cream or gel to the wound if the person has no known allergies or sensitivities to the ingredients. Then cover the area with a sterile gauze pad and a bandage, or apply an adhesive bandage. When you are finished providing care, wash your hands with soap and water, even if you wore gloves. Myth: Use hydrogen peroxide to clean a wound and prevent infection; the bubbles mean it is working to kill germs. Although applying hydrogen peroxide to a wound will kill germs, it also can harm the tissue and delay healing. A better strategy to promote wound healing is to keep the wound moist (with an antibiotic ointment, cream or gel) and covered (under a dressing and bandage). Major Open Wounds A major open wound (for example, one that involves extensive tissue damage or is bleeding heavily or uncontrollably) requires prompt action. Call 9-1-1 or the designated emergency number immediately and then take steps to control the bleeding until help arrives. If blood soaks through the first dressing, place another dressing on top of the first and apply additional direct pressure (press harder than you did before, if possible). Do not remove the blood soaked dressings because disturbing them may disrupt clot formation and restart the bleeding. When the bleeding stops, check the skin on the side of the injury farthest away from the heart. Then apply a bandage over the dressing to maintain pressure on the wound and to hold the dressing in place. To apply a roller bandage, hold one end of the roller bandage in place while you wrap the other end around the wound and dressing several times, using overlapping turns. Make sure the dressing is completely covered and allow a margin of several inches on all sides. If there is a change in feeling, warmth or color from your first check (for example, the skin is cooler or paler than it was before, the area is swollen, or the person complains of a numb or tingly feeling), then the bandage is too tight and needs to be loosened. Have the person rest comfortably and provide care for shock, if necessary, until help arrives. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water after providing care, even if you wore gloves. Skill Sheet 6-1 describes step by step how to use direct pressure to control external bleeding. To tie a bandage, begin by placing the end of the bandage on the dressing at a 45-degree angle (A). Wrap the bandage one full turn, and then fold the angled end of the bandage up, creating a dog ear (B). Continue wrapping the bandage, overlaying the dog ear to anchor it and moving upward (C). While holding the bandage, use the index finger of the other hand to split the bandage in half, moving it down and underneath the limb (E). In some life-threatening circumstances, you may need to use a tourniquet to control bleeding as the first step instead of maintaining direct pressure over several minutes. Examples of situations where it may be necessary to use a tourniquet include: Severe, life-threatening bleeding that cannot be controlled using direct pressure. Although tourniquets may have slightly different designs, tourniquet, make sure the person all are applied in generally the same way. First, place the tourniquet understands the reason for the around the wounded extremity about 2 inches above the wound, tourniquet, and warn the person avoiding the joint if possible. Twist the rod (windlass) to tighten the tourniquet until the bright red bleeding stops, then secure the rod in place. Once the tourniquet is applied, it should not be removed until the person reaches a healthcare facility. Skill Sheet 6-2 describes step by step how to apply a commercially manufactured tourniquet. If it is necessary to use a tourniquet and a commercially manufactured tourniquet is not available, make a tourniquet using a strip of soft material that is 2 to 4 inches wide (such as a triangular bandage that has been folded into a tie) and a short, sturdy stick or other rigid object. Tie the stick or other rigid object into the material and twist it to tighten the makeshift tourniquet. Using Hemostatic Dressings A hemostatic dressing is a dressing treated with a substance that speeds clot formation. As is the case with tourniquets, hemostatic dressings are used when severe life-threatening bleeding exists and standard first aid procedures fail or are not practical. Typically, hemostatic dressings are used on parts of the body where a tourniquet cannot be applied, such as the neck or torso. A hemostatic dressing can also be used to control bleeding from an open wound on an arm or a leg if a tourniquet is ineffective. The hemostatic dressing is applied at the site of the bleeding (possibly inside of the wound) and is used along with direct pressure. Open Wounds with Embedded Objects In some cases, the object that caused the wound may remain in the wound. If the embedded object is large (for example, a large piece of glass or metal), do not attempt to remove it. Instead, place several dressings around the object to begin to control blood loss, and then pack bulk dressings or roller bandages around the embedded object to keep it from moving. A small partially embedded object, such as a splinter, can usually be removed using first aid techniques; however, medical care should be sought if the splinter is deep, completely embedded in the skin, or located under the nail or in the eye. To remove a simple shallow splinter, grasp the end of the splinter with clean tweezers and pull it out. Traumatic Amputations Traumatic amputation is the loss of a body part as a result of an injury. Common causes of traumatic amputations include injuries involving power tools, farming or manufacturing equipment; motor-vehicle collisions; explosions and natural disasters. In a traumatic amputation, the body part might be severed cleanly from the body or ripped away as a result of being subjected to violent tearing or twisting forces. The body part may be completely detached from the body, or it may still be partially attached. Bleeding may be minimal or severe, depending on the location and nature of the injury. When a person has experienced a traumatic amputation, call 9-1-1 or the designated emergency number. If the body part is completely detached from the body, try to locate it because surgeons may be able to reattach it. Keep the bag containing the body part cool by placing it in a larger bag or container filled with a mixture of ice and water. Burns A burn is a traumatic injury to the skin (and sometimes the underlying tissues as well) caused by contact with extreme heat, chemicals, radiation or electricity (Figure 6-3). Causes of burns include extreme heat (A), chemicals (B), radiation (C) and electricity (D).
The pancreatic body lies against the aorta and posterior parietes icd 9 code of erectile dysfunction cheap levitra 20mg fast delivery, and anteriorly contacts the antrum of the stomach erectile dysfunction treatment reviews 20mg levitra sale. Despite aggressive and intensive early management erectile dysfunction green tea purchase levitra 10mg online, the mortality rate is approximately 10% erectile dysfunction definition order levitra 20mg with amex. Although the exact mechanism of acute pancreatitis due to gallstones is not completely understood, most investigators believe that obstruction of the major papilla by the stone causes reflux of bile into the pancreatic duct (Figure 7). The presence of bile in the pancreatic duct appears to initiate a complex cascade effect that results in acute pancreatitis. Alcohol Alcohol is the second leading cause of acute pancreatitis in Western countries. These include abnormal sphincter of Oddi motility, direct toxic and metabolic effects, and small duct obstruction by protein plug formation (Figure 8). These drugs may be divided into those that have a definite association, and those with probable association with the development of acute pancreatitis. Pancreas Divisum the most common congenital anomaly of the pancreas, pancreas divisum, occurs in approximately 10% of the population, and results from incomplete or absent fusion of the dorsal and ventralducts during embryological development. In pancreas divisum, the ventral Duct of Wirsung empties into the duodenum through the major papilla but draining only a small portion of the pancreas (ventral portion). Other regions of the pancreas, including the tail, body, neck and the remainder of the head, drain secretions into the duodenum through the minor papilla via the dorsal duct of Santorini (Figure 9). Recent clinical trials have supported the concept that obstruction of the minor papilla may cause acute pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis in a subgroup of patients with pancreas divisum. Endoscopic or surgical therapy directed to the minor papilla has been effective in treating these patients. Microlithiasis Recent studies have shown that a significant number of patients with idiopathic acute pancreatitis will have microlithiasis. This may be diagnosed either as gallbladder sludge on ultrasound (ultrasound of gallbladder sludge) or as crystals on microscopic examination of bile (Figure 10). Microlithiasis; A, ultrasound image of sludge of microlithiasis; B, microscopic view of crystals in bile; C, gross appearance. Treatment of microlithiasis (by cholecystectomy, endoscopic sphincterotomy, or ursodeoxycholic acid) results in a significant reduction in the frequency of attacks of acute pancreatitis. In patients with hyperlipidemia, triglyceride levels are usually greater than 2,000mg/dl. It is believed that lipase present in the pancreatic capillaries metabolizes the levels of triglyceride generating toxic free fatty acids. Hypercalcemia has been shown to induce experimental pancreatitis, probably by increasing pancreatic duct permeability. Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction In a small group of patients with recurrent pancreatitis of unknown etiology, manometric studies of the sphincter of Oddi have revealed abnormalities in motility. Clinical studies have shown that therapy, such as endoscopic or surgical sphincterotomy directed to the sphincter of Oddi, may be beneficial in these patients. Administration of nitrates or calcium channel blockers have provided short-term relief in subsets of patients. Viral, bacterial, and parasitic infectious causes may lead to pancreatitis with mumps and Coxsackie B viruses being the most common. Bacterial infections that are associated with acute pancreatitis include Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Escherichia, Legionella, Leptospira, and even brucella. Pancreatitis associated with these infections is usually secondary to the release of toxins and usually is not the primary manifestation of such infections. Miscellaneous There are multiple other causes of acute pancreatitis that include scorpion stings, poisoning with organophosphorus insecticides, ascaris worms in the pancreatic duct, and trauma. Elevations of amylase are more sensitive, but less specific than lipase in the diagnosis of acute pancreatitis. C-reactive protein, immunolipase, trypsinogen, and immunoelastase are all elevated following an acute attack of acute pancreatitis. Elevation of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase is predictive of gallstone pancreatitis. Radiological Testing Abdominal radiographs and standard chest films should routinely be performed on patients with severe abdominal pain. Patients with pancreatitis may have a variety of radiological findings, such as pleural effusion, intestinal gas patterns, colonic obstruction, loss of psoas margins, and increased separation between the stomach and colon, suggesting inflammation of the pancreas. Ultrasonography is not a sensitive test because overlying intestinal gas and fatty tissue may obscure the pancreas in over one third of patients. However, ultrasound is very sensitive for the detection of gallstones, bile duct stones, and bile duct dilatation. Endoscopic Diagnosis Gastrointestinal endoscopy allows the physician to visualize and biopsy the mucosa of the upper gastrointestinal tract. During these procedures, the patient may be given a pharyngeal topical anesthetic that helps to prevent gagging. An endoscope, a thin, flexible, lighted tube, is passed through the mouth and pharynx and into the esophagus. The endoscope transmits an image of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to a monitor, which is visible to the physician. The endoscope also introduces air into the stomach, expanding the folds of tissue and enhancing the examination of the stomach. During this procedure, the physician inserts a side-viewing endoscope (Figure 14) in the duodenum facing the major papilla (Figure 15). The side-viewing endoscope (duodenoscope) is specially designed to facilitate placement of endoscopic accessories into the bile and pancreatic duct. The endoscopic accessories may be passed through the biopsy channel (Figure 14) into the bile and pancreatic ducts. A catheter is used to inject dye into both pancreatic and biliary ducts to obtain x-ray images using fluoroscopy (Figure 15). During this procedure, the physician is able to see two sets of images: the endoscopic image of the duodenum and major papilla, and the fluoroscopic image of the bile and pancreatic ducts. The scope is designed to be held in the left hand with the thumb operating up and down angulation. The right hand is responsible for advancing, withdrawing and torquing the insertion tube. The right hand also operates left and right angulation of the endoscope, and passes accessories through the instrument. Lithotripsy devices, injection devices, brushes, forceps, scissors, and magnetic extraction devices may also be inserted through the endoscope. Video cameras may also be attached for full-color motion picture viewing during endoscopic procedures or for later review. Measurements are obtained using a special system of manometry catheters, a hydraulic capillary infusion system, and a computer software program. The fluid infusion system is of low compliance, allowing direct measurements of the sphincter of Oddi pressure. The standard manometry catheters are triple lumen and made of polyethylene or Teflon. The pneumatic capillary system perfuses de-ionized, bubble-free water at a pressure of 750 mm Hg at a rate of 0. Basal sphincter pressure, amplitude, and frequency of contractions as well as sequences of sphincter contractions may be obtained (Figure 16). Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction is diagnosed when the basal sphincter pressure is greater than 40 mm Hg. Sphincter of Oddi manometry; A, Room set-up; B, B, endoscopic image and position of manometry catheter. This includes replacement of fluid and electrolytes, correction of metabolic abnormalities such as symptomatic hypercalcemia, and nutritional support. Other measures such as the use of nasogastric suction and antibiotics should be decided on a case-by-case basis. Medical Therapy Agents that have been used to inhibit pancreatic secretion, including somatostatin and glucagon, have not been found to be useful in altering the course in acute pancreatitis. Protease inhibitors, which are effective in laboratory studies, have not been shown to be useful in clinical pancreatitis. Some surgical procedures such as resection of necrotic tissue and peritoneal lavage may have a role in select patients with severe, progressive necrotizing pancreatitis or pancreatic abscess.
However erectile dysfunction humor order levitra 10 mg fast delivery, endpoint is major bleeding what causes erectile dysfunction treatment cheap levitra 20 mg visa, as assessed by the Thrombolysis before the time of stopping erectile dysfunction symptoms age purchase discount levitra, the data and safety monitoring in Myocardial Infarction score erectile dysfunction tumblr buy levitra 20 mg with mastercard. The and planned dual-antiplatelet treatment beyond 6 months reduced risk of ischaemic stroke observed with warfarin following the revascularization procedure. Despite intensive antiplatelet therapy, which cular disease continues to increase. Patients with peripheral arterial disease in the and contributed to the drafting of the paper. Circulation reports the following: grants to institution from Roche 2017;135(25):2534?2555 Diagnostics; membership of steering committees of 15 Stachon P, Ahrens I, Bode C, Zirlik A. Thrombin generation and atherothrom Stealth Peptide; speaker fees from Mitsubishi; and has bosis: what does the evidence indicate? Effects of rivaroxaban on platelet activation and platelet-coagulation pathway interaction: in vitro Grants or Other Financial Support and in vivo studies. The hemostatic system as a Ketchum (Inspired Science), who provided editorial sup modulator of atherosclerosis. The impact of the aging population on Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: coronary heart disease in the United States. Am J Med 2011; American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical 124(09):827?33. Global, Lower Cardiovascular Events in Addition to Standard Therapy in regional, and national age-sex speci? J Am Coll Cardiol 2013;61(18):1853?1859 analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. N Engl J Med 2012;366(01):9?19 Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Acute coronary syndromes: diagnosis and in 2000 and 2010: a systematic review and analysis. Peripheral artery dis bers;AmericanCollegeofCardiologyFoundation/AmericanHeart ease: pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment [in Spanish]. American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart N Engl J Med 2016;374(09):861?871 Association Task Force on practice guidelines. Mortality over a period of 128(16):e240?e327 10 years in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Thrombin antiplatelet therapy in coronary artery disease developed in receptor antagonist vorapaxar in acute coronary syndromes. Aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular dromes: an updated and comprehensive meta-analysis of 25,307 events in a general population screened for a low ankle brachial patients. Aspirin for the antiplatelet therapy: results from the Clopidogrel for High Ather prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with peripheral othrombotic Risk and Ischemic Stabilization, Management, and artery disease: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. Rivaroxaban in dations): a report of the American College of Cardiology Founda stable peripheral or carotid artery disease. Presented at the tion/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice European Society of Cardiology Congress 2017, Barcelona, Spain; Guidelines. Eur Heart J 2001; of a prospective cohort study of patients with advanced periph 22(03):228?236 eral artery disease. Trends in the incidence, treatment, roads of coronary artery disease and heart failure. Circulation and outcomes of acute lower extremity ischemia in the 2006;114(11):1202?1213 United States Medicare population. Abnormalities of hemor clinical research designs, registries, and self-reporting systems. Warfarin and aspirin in patients with heart failure and sinus and safety of rivaroxaban in reducing the risk of death, myocardial rhythm. It is a marker of atherosclerotic plaque burden and an independent predictor of future myocardial infarction and mortality. Its use for risk stratification is confined to primary prevention of cardiovascular events, and can be considered as individualized coronary risk scoring for those not considered to be of high or low risk. It may also be considered for lower risk patients (absolute 10-year cardiovascular risk 6-10%) particularly in those where traditionally risk scores under estimate risk. High risk (>20% absolute 10 year risk) as testing is unlikely to alter the recommended management. In patients with positive calcium score, routine re-scanning is not currently recommended. Its main clinical application is to predict the risk of a future cardiac event in an asymptomatic individual in the setting of primary prevention. The scan acquisition is relatively quick (less than 10 seconds), has low radiation exposure (~ 1mSv) and does not require intravenous contrast or special preparation. As atheroma develops, it may form lipid pools, fibrous tissue and calcium at later stages. Furthermore, there has not been guidance from national bodies on indications, patient population, scanning techniques and reporting standards. This document will attempt to provide some background information, rationale and guidance on these matters so that the test is used appropriately and a high standard maintained for practice in Australia & New Zealand. These scanners were developed primarily for cardiac applications but were never commercially available in Australia. They could generate 3mm thick slices with a scan time (temporal resolution) of 100 milliseconds, gated to the diastolic phase of the cardiac cycle. This allowed the heart to be examined in a single breath hold with minimal movement artefact. Other methods for both imaging and quantifying coronary calcium have been proposed, including thicker slices and scores based upon the number, mass or volume of the lesions. Calcification of the mitral annulus, aortic root, pericardium and streak or beam hardening artefact near the inferior wall of the heart can make interpretation of the images more challenging. Therefore, care must be taken by the reader to identify coronary calcification correctly. Radiation can be minimized by adjusting other scanner settings, particularly scan length and tube current. Prevention of cardiovascular disease is important in maintaining a healthy productive population and reducing the cost of healthcare in the long term. The intensity of any intervention should be commensurate to the degree of baseline risk of an individual or population. This principle should achieve the best balance between clinical outcomes, cost and safety. The challenge has always been to identify individuals at higher risk who may derive greater benefit from early detection and treatment. Clinicians in New Zealand should refer to the New Zealand Guidelines Group, New Zealand Primary Care Handbook 2012 (updated 2013). We acknowledge that every tool has its short-comings and therefore of varying accuracy. Therefore, no further risk assessment is required and they should be treated aggressively with optimal medical management. The usefulness of a new risk marker is assessed by its ability to provide new information, which improves upon current risk calculators or markers. In essence, it is a targeted screening tool and we would take into consideration some principles of population health screening. Diabetics over 60 years are considered to be high risk and should receive optimal medical therapy. It is important to advocate a healthy diet and lifestyle for all risk groups and discuss the risk and benefits of any pharmacotherapy. For example consideration maybe given to whether the patient is from a sub-group that Framingham-based risk scores generally under estimates risk. We would advocate a healthy diet and lifestyle in for maintaining a low 10-year risk, unless other clinical factors are present (eg strong family history of premature infarction <50 years of age in a first degree relative). It should be noted that cost-effectiveness studies have not been conducted in an Australian setting. Calcium Score, Dyslipidaemia and Statin Therapy There is emerging evidence that statins stabilizes plaque, slows plaque progression and improve outcomes in patients with non-obstructive coronary plaques. Intravascular ultrasound studies have demonstrated plaque stabilization and even regression with statin therapy. Currently there are no studies which show a regression of calcium scores on subsequent scans. They found the rate of conversion was non-linear with the highest rate occurring in the fifth year.
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