Features August 2010 Issue

Even Minor Plaque Build-Up Can Be Dangerous for the Heart

Cleveland Clinic study shows importance of keeping coronary plaque at bay.

Just a small increase in the plaque that builds up on artery walls in the heart can lead to a higher risk of heart attacks, bypass surgery, angioplasty and death, according to a Cleveland Clinic study published in the May 25 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Researchers, led by Steven Nissen, MD, Cleveland Clinic’s chief of cardiovascular medicine, found that plaque growth of less than one percent over an 18- to 24-month period predicted poor outcomes for patients.

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