Just months after receiving a clean bill of health at his annual checkup, Dean Dupuy suffered a heart attack and died. He was 46 and had no risk factors for heart disease.
During a conversation with his doctor about what went wrong, Victoria Dupuy learned that her husband likely had plaque in his arteries that ruptured. The disease went undetected because Dupuy was not offered a screening test called a coronary calcium scan.
A coronary calcium scan is a CT scan of the heart that can show the presence of plaque in the arteries—and it might be one of the best screening tools available.
Research published in the European Heart Journal found that coronary calcium scans trumped screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure and other factors in assessing risks for heart attack and heart disease-related death.
Study author Michael Blaha, MD, MPH, director of clinical research at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at Johns Hopkins Medicine, explains, “Risk factors just tell you whether you have an increased risk. The calcium score is more personalized; it shows you a picture of where plaque is forming in the arteries. Rather than measuring the determinants of the disease, we can measure the disease itself.”
Despite the availability of an effective, low-cost screening tool—the scans cost between $50 and $150, according to Blaha—with the potential to save lives, the coronary calcium scan is not a recommended screening tool like a mammogram or colonoscopy.
Some doctors cite radiation exposure as a downside to screening (scans emit radiation levels similar to bilateral mammograms) while others are unaware the test exists or are unconvinced of its effectiveness.
In 2014, Dupuy started a nonprofit organization called No More Broken Hearts to increase awareness of coronary calcium scans and lobby for their use as standard screening tools for heart disease.
“You can look healthy and pass all of the standard screening tests and still have significant heart disease,” she explains. “If my husband had this test, we could have known he had heart disease and managed it [but] we didn’t have the choice to do anything because we didn’t know about the test. It’s a screening that can save lives.” —Jodi Helmer
How often, on average, someone dies of heart disease in the US (2,200 each day)
1 in 7
Deaths accounted for heart disease
American adults living with cardiovascular disease or stroke after-effects
Estimated direct and indirect costs of heart disease and stroke
SOURCE: AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION/AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION
Healthy Cooking the
Easy Way with VitaClay
You know that endless rounds of Chinese takeout and fast-food burgers aren’t good for you. But, despite all good intentions, you just can’t get around to cooking.
Enter the VitaClay slow cooker. Made with unglazed pure clay for dishes with superior taste, texture and nutrition, VitaClay is the greenest cookware on earth, free of lead and other toxins. What’s more, the double-lid design creates micro-pressure, cutting slow-cooking time and energy usage in half.
That means one-pot meals, side dishes and cereals can be made in 30 minutes. And you can create your own bone broth, the latest hot health fad, as well as yogurt and rice with the push of a button. To learn more, visit vitaclaychef.com.
Folic Acid Awareness Week
Encouraging women who could possibly become pregnant to consume 400 mcg of folic acid a day, one of the simplest ways to reduce birth defects of the brain and spine
SPONSORED BY: NATIONAL BIRTH
DEFECTS PREVENTION NETWORK
Red Rock Resort Offers
Wellness Inside & Out
The Red Rock Resort, Casino & Spa embodies the best of two very different worlds that dictate how you spend your time in Las Vegas: the party life reflected in its loud pool parties and 24/7 casinos on the one hand, and its desert locale on the other.
Red Rock touts a sizable casino while its large circular pool sports a design with great feng shui and attracts a lively crowd. The resort is a 20-minute drive from the hectic Vegas Strip but only a short drive to the Red Rock National Conservation Area, a captivating place to hike because of its beauty and diverse terrain. The park’s slanted giant boulders offer a meditative lunchtime respite, while its trails leave no doubt why Hollywood has brought many of its cameras to the spot to capture the Old West.
It is also a reminder that Red Rock Resort has plenty to offer in the way of relaxation, inside and out. The 25,000-square-foot Red Rock Spa by Well & Being, the management company that operates the spa, is a good place to start. It has come up with a menu of both classic and creative treatments, as well as ancillary services that take place outside its treatment rooms, such as full moon yoga.
We opted for one of the more creative classes we’ve seen—rather, heard: A meditation class led by first-chair professional violinist Rebecca Sabine, composer of an award-winning CD, “The Stone Sanctuary,” and lead violinist for artists including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Luciano Pavarotti. A player for Celine Dion’s Vegas show for the past six years and a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Sabine and her wistful playing left us at once soothed and energized. It was quite special to meditate while enveloped by the sounds of a master playing to a small group in Red Rock’s yoga studio, a space the size of a large living room.
The session with Sabine was followed by the spa’s Blues Be Gone body treatment, beginning with an inhalation of invigorating eucalyptus, one of our favorite essential oils. A skilled therapist intuitively gave a massage at just the right pressure with ginger root oil. Between the body treatment and musical prelude, we left the building in bliss to enjoy the spa’s outside private pool area equipped with about a half dozen cabanas that are gratis to spa-goers.
Kudos to Station Casinos, Red Rock Resort’s parent company, for offering these private spaces for no extra fee; just about every other resort with poolside cabanas does charge a premium. Similarly, the resort’s more public pool deck is equipped with lounges sporting some of the plushest lounge mats we’ve seen, as well as a number of day beds.
If Vegas Strip traffic is too much to bear but you still want the vibe of a Strip casino resort, head to Red Rock (which also sports a movie theater and bowling lanes). The bonuses are a well-run spa with creative treatments given by skilled therapists and the proximity to the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. You can experience the latter by hiking its many trails or taking a leisurely 13-mile scenic drive around its perimeter. Visit redrock.sclv.com.