Saturday, May 11, 2013

Life Line Discussion of Results: Carotid to Osteoporosis

Life Line prepared a 20 page report. Beginning on page 5, there is a narrative account of the results. I'll remark on sections of interest.

Carotid Artery Disease - "Your screening revealed minor plaque buildup which does not affect blood flow."

Atrial Fibrillation - Normal, but an "Important Note" says "A possible abnormality has been identified: At the time of your atrial fibrillation screening, your heart rhythm indicated a possble conduction abnormaility." I wonder if this is the PAC that has been identified before. I left the EKG with my GP.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Normal. But that means 3 cm or greater. There could be small ones?

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) - Inconclusive. Normal is with an ABI (Ankle-brachial Index) of between 0.90 - 1.3. The ultrasound device measures systolic pressures in arms and legs. A ration of less than 0.90 indicates plaque buildup. Mine at greater than 1.3 could suggest that small arteries of the legs are calcified. You see this with people with diabetes or chronic kidney disease. This could be a falsely high ankle to brachial index. (I need to know more about the ratio.)

Here is a Wikipedia account. The ratio is between the systolic BP of the arms and the legs. Lower blood pressure in the legs would indicate blockage. My reading is higher. Could be inconclusive. Could be worse. :) I should be able to reproduce the results and will post back. There is some indication that exercise can increase sensitivity of this test, so I can try it just after exercise.

I ran my own tests of BP on left arm and let, then right arm and leg with my monitor. On the left the ration was 1.34 which was outer limit of normal. With some exercise of the ankle, it might be within normal range. On the right arm and leg the ratio was 1.2 or in normal range. This is important since it was the right side only that was inconclusive in the last Life Line screening. I would seem that my GP was right in not worrying about the finding last time.

  • The left arm: 128/68; leg: 171/73; ratio   171/128 = 1.34
  • The right arm: 122/67; leg: 147/65; ratio 147/122 = 1.20

Diabetes, heavy smoking, kidney problems can all give elevated ABI ratios. (Not a happy thought.)

Osteoporosis. Low Risk at -0.3.

Expected, but calcium, Vitamin D and weight-bearing exercise are all recommended.

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