Recommend the CIMT Test for Heart Health Month
Happy Heart Health Month from Vasolabs! Most people are experiencing a cold weather slump this time of year, but we’re celebrating the lives saved thanks to heart health awareness, testing, and lifestyle changes.
All great healthcare providers aim to partner with patients to improve health outcomes. As doctors, nurses, and practitioners, we know that we need buy-in from our patients if they’re going to see true changes in their quality of life.
Your patients have likely set New Year’s resolutions, but most people don’t make it through January when it comes to pursuing their goals. If your patients desire to improve their health but are struggling to stay motivated, Heart Health Month is the best time to give them the inspiration and spark they need to get back in the game!
Cardiovascular health can be a tricky area when it comes to patient buy-in. Fear, shame, and frustration can prevent people from making the necessary lifestyle changes. In many ways, taking care of one’s health can seem like an overwhelming task.
Patients might say, “This year, I’m going to get healthy!”
An excellent goal, but one that’s likely to fail without concrete guidelines and the support of a health practitioner. By recommending specific tests like the CIMT test, you can provide patients with practical milestones for healthy living.
An Overview of the CIMT Test
The carotid artery is one of the main vessels that supplies blood to the brain, so measuring the thickness of these layers can provide an indication of the presence and severity of atherosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of the arteries) in the carotid artery.
The CIMT test can be used to detect the early stages of atherosclerosis and to monitor the progression of the disease over time. It can also be used to assess the effectiveness of treatment for atherosclerosis and to identify patients at high risk for heart attack or stroke.
Why Patients Might Avoid Screenings like the CIMT Test
Many patients may avoid going to the doctor for heart health issues due to a variety of reasons.
One of the main reasons is fear or anxiety. Patients may be afraid of what the doctor will find, or they may be anxious about undergoing certain tests or procedures.
Another reason patients may avoid going to the doctor is a lack of understanding or knowledge about heart health. Some patients may not be aware of the signs and symptoms of heart disease or may not understand the importance of regular check-ups and screenings.
Cost is also a significant factor that may prevent patients from seeking medical attention for heart health issues. Many patients may not have access to affordable healthcare or may not be able to afford the cost of tests or treatments. With Vasolabs, you can offer heart tests at affordable rates.
In addition, some patients may feel embarrassed or ashamed about their health issues, which can make it difficult for them to seek help. They may not want to talk about their symptoms or concerns with a doctor, and this can prevent them from getting the medical attention they need.
Finally, some patients may not have a regular primary care physician, which can make it more difficult for them to access healthcare for heart health issues. Understanding these nuances can help doctors have honest conversations with patients and respond to specific objections.
Who Should Take the CIMT Test?
Not every patient should be recommended for the CIMT test. When patients are given unnecessary procedures, they may become frustrated with their healthcare and therefore avoid it in the future. Recommend the CIMT test to individuals at risk of developing atherosclerosis, including:
- Age: The risk of atherosclerosis increases with age, and it is more common in people over the age of 50.
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop atherosclerosis than women, but after menopause, the risk for women increases.
- Family history: If a person has a family history of heart disease or stroke, they may be at a higher risk for developing atherosclerosis.
- Lifestyle factors: Smoking, physical inactivity, and a diet high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol can increase the risk of atherosclerosis.
- Chronic conditions: High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.
- Obesity: Excess weight, particularly around the waist, can increase the risk of atherosclerosis.
- Inflammation: Chronic inflammation in the body can increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
The CIMT Test is a Practical Action Step
We know how difficult it can be to follow vague New Year’s resolutions. Get healthy, read more, lose weight – these are examples of vague goals.
If a patient expresses that they would like to improve their heart health this year, then practitioners should recommend practical action steps. The CIMT test is an excellent screening that patients can do, which provides valuable data and a sense of health ownership. Take advantage of February being Heart Health Month to motivate patients to put their health first.
Other Resolutions to Benefit Heart Health
You might also want to recommend heart-healthy activities that go beyond “eat better” or “exercise more.” Consider these resolution-friendly action steps:
- Find a friend who is also committed to exercising
- Sign up for a heart-healthy meal plan
- Download a meditation app or begin a mindfulness journal
Learn More About Offering the CIMT Test Through Vasolabs
Vasolabs partners with physicians to provide the most accurate and complete heart disease diagnostic resources. Heart Health Month is one of our favorite times of year: we get to celebrate lives saved while also spreading awareness about the importance of heart health.
Our team can come to your clinic or practice to provide much-needed testing to patients. This is especially true for smaller, niche practices in the functional medicine, naturopathic, chiropractic, and primary care fields.
Head to this page to learn more about our CIMT tests and services.