A Breakthrough Test for Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery atherosclerosis is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States and the main cause of coronary artery disease. Your coronary arteries deliver blood and its life sustaining oxygen and nutrients. When calcium and plaque build up in your coronary arteries, it narrows the arteries and restricts blood flow. This can lead to chest pain, shortness of brain, fatigue, dizziness, palpitations, leg swelling, heart damage, blood pressure changes, pulse rate abnormalities, fainting, lung problems, and even death.

There are many reasons people develop coronary artery disease (CAD). A variety of risk factors can make one susceptible, including genetics, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, infectious agents, elevated lipids and lipoproteins, oxidized (damaged) LDL cholesterol, heavy metals such as lead, high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, depression, high blood pressure, smoking, air pollution, and diabetes. CAD is more common in men and age is the strongest risk factor for developing CAD (82% of people who die of CAD are 65 years or older).

There is a new technology that allows a doctor to assess whether or not one is suffering from a blockage of the heart arteries. It involves a blood test that is shipped to a laboratory with results being available in a few days. It involves no other invasive scans or testing. We offer this test at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

It is known as the Corus CAD test. It is unique in that it uses genetic technology to assess your artery health. This test measures the activity of specific RNAs (ribonucleic acids) in response to one’s condition. RNA is present in all living cells and acts as a messenger for carrying instructions from DNA as well as protein synthesis. It is the activity of messenger RNA that is evaluated in the Corus CAD test. Your messenger RNA responds differently when inflammation and plaque is forming in the coronary arteries.

By measuring your gene expression and taking into account your age and sex, the laboratory comes up with a score. The higher the score, the higher the likelihood that you have a significant blockage or narrowing of your arteries. This will help to determine whether you need more intensive testing or care for probable coronary artery disease.

Insurance coverage for the Corus CAD test is quite good and also includes Medicare. This test is not intended for people who have diabetes, a history of obstructive CAD, history of a heart attack, or those on immune suppressive or chemotherapy medications.

If you are interested in having this test then schedule an appointment with myself or Dr. LaBeau at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine (760-274-2377).