Keeping the heart healthy - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Keeping the heart healthy

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Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 11:00 am

Dr. Kevin Chan has a goal he hopes to achieve through his Ahwatukee Foothills practice. He recently adopted a program, called Cardio Crusaders, which he believes will help him reach his goal of maximizing society's health and vitality.

The program is an attack on the leading killer of human beings - heart disease. There are many factors that can lead to heart disease, such as high cholesterol and stress, and Chan says the tests offered through Cardio Crusaders give a more comprehensive report on a patient's overall cardiovascular health.

"When you would run a blood test on someone, you just get numbers, but for the first time, (Cardio Crusaders) tells me beyond the numbers," Chan said. "With these tests we can get a better answer on what these numbers mean in the context of each individual person."

There are five tests involved when someone goes in for a Cardio Crusaders exam. They are non-invasive and, for example, the HeartSmart IMT (Intima-Media Thickness) test, an ultrasound is used to measure the thickness of the innermost carotid artery wall. The results of that particular test show Chan if and how much plaque is building up on the arterial wall of a patient.

"Some doctors, their goal is just to keep the disease or their patient from getting worse," Chan said. "Through this program, I hope to show people how they can get healthy and stay healthy."

With a more comprehensive picture, doctors like Chan can fine-tune a patient's lifestyle. The results allow him to make a more accurate recommendation of how much exercise they need, if their medication is the right amount and whether or not they need to make better choices when it comes to food.

"Cholestoral is just a number," Chan said. "You can give medication or tell a person to exercise more or eat better, but with the results, I can tell them in a short time frame whether or not it is working."

The other tests include an EndoPAT (Peripheral Arterial Tone) evaluation, which analyzes the lining of the arteries to see if there is damage, and a Pulsewave Analysis, which evaluates arterial elasticity. The Heart Rate Variability test shows the balance of the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system and the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Test evaluates the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body.

Patients receive a binder full of information regarding their cardiovascular health, complete with pictures and graphs that are designed to paint a clearer picture.

While Cardio Crusaders is still in the early stages, Chan has a goal to take the program out of his office and into the offices of others. He specializes in occupational medicine and one day hopes to tackle the problem of cardiovascular health at the source of stress and inactivity - the workplace.

"My goal is to take Cardio Crusaders to the employers," he said. "It will save a lot of money for them and the insurance companies, and it helps the people."

Chan's practice is Foothills Family Medicine, 4540 E. Ray Road. He can be reached at (480) 961-2366.

To find out more about Cardio Crusaders, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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