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Neck Artery Ultrasound IDs Heart Risk

Imaging of Carotid Artery May Help Reveal Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke

More Work Ahead

Akosah says the findings need to be confirmed in larger studies.

American Heart Association spokesman David Goff, MD, PhD, agrees. Even if the findings are confirmed, he says, it is not clear if screening whole populations would result in more aggressive treatment -- and better outcomes -- for those found to be at risk.

"There are still many things that we simply don't know that keep us from recommending this as routine screening," he tells WebMD.

Goff and Akosah agree that taking steps to reduce heart disease risk are far more important than which tests people take to ascertain their risk. That means maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, not smoking, and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control.

"If people follow these guidelines, screening can confirm that their efforts are working," Akosah says.

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