The study on the benefits of showing patients their clogged artery images

One hundred and eighty nine heart patients who had been recently diagnosed with early stage coronary diseases were used to determine if visually seeing the images of their clogged arteries would make any difference in how well they followed the treatment plans devised by their cardiologist.

Half of the patients were shown their CT images, and half of them were simply told about the condition of their arteries.

The nurse practitioner doing the research informed all of the patients about the link between coronary artery calcifications, or clogged arteries, and the risk of greater health problems. Needless to say, one of the main concerns is problems of the heart. This shows how important it is to have people who have CPR first aid certification take care of patients with clogged arteries.

All one hundred and eighty nine participants were counseled on the following:

  • Smoking and their need to stop smoking if they were still actively smoking
  • Healthy dietary changes they should make
  • Losing weight if they were over weight
  • Exercises they should include in their daily routines
  • Controlling their blood pressure
  • Lowering their bad cholesterol, with statin drugs, and through lifestyle changes
  • Including a low dose aspirin to their daily regimen

The results

The people who were shown the images of their clogged arteries were more likely to do the things their cardiologist recommended to improve their heart health. These people took their coronary conditions more seriously, and approached the necessary changes more readily than the people who did not see their CT images.

Nine percent of the people who were shown their CT images continued to smoke tobacco products. In comparison, twenty two percent of the patients who were not shown their CT images continued to smoke tobacco products.

Forty four percent of the people who saw their clogged arteries continued to eat unhealthy foods, but sixty four percent of the people who did not see their images continued with the diet they had been following.

What this means for the future

With results as astounding as these doctors are likely to start showing their heart patients their CT images in the hopes that they can convince them that the only way to save their own lives is to make the changes recommended.

This information provides doctors with another tool that will help them to arm their patients for their battle with coronary artery diseases. The more people understand the dangers the more likely they are to make the changes.

This could potentially reduce the number of patients who have major cardiac events after they are diagnosed with clogged arteries. This could be a life altering tool that could reduce healthcare costs, and deaths in the United States for people with coronary conditions.

More Studies are needed

More in depth studies are needed to show exactly how beneficial showing patients their images of their clogged arteries will be. The current results are enough to convince most doctors that show and tell may help their patients get well.