MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control show heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in Alabama. Statistics also show the state continues to lead the nation in deaths related to heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Doctors across Alabama are working tirelessly to reverse this trend. In Montgomery, a group of physicians at Baptist Health offer a specialized advanced heart check without a physician’s referral. The battery of tests include a 3-D heart scan for $199.
“It’s the big saves that really are so rewarding,” stated Dr. Mark LeQuire, a radiologist who conducts the heart screening. “The beauty of the study is when it’s normal, it’s normal with 100 percent reliability. There are very few things that we do that have that level of reliability."
In fact, some patients have left LeQuire and gone straight to the operating room. Without thinking, LeQuire can offer an abundance of examples of what he calls “miracles of healing.”
“I have a partner in my group who was having some left shoulder pain and just thought ‘you know, maybe I get checked,'” LeQuire explained. "The next day he got two coronary artery stents and he’s here. I have a friend, a businessman who came in just asymptomatic, healthy as a horse does all this exercise stuff of PX-whatever. [He had] four vessel disease, he had a bypass the very next day, he’s alive and credits this exam for saving his life.”
The test can reveal more than heart disease. LeQuire says some of his patients have had a normal heart but the doctors detected cancer in other organs through imaging.
Generally Lequire divides patients into two groups, asymptomatic and those who don’t subscribe to a healthy lifestyle.
“Patients who have bad lifestyle habits are more commonly abnormal than those who have no problem at all,” he stated.
LeQuire believes anyone can improve their heart health. He says walking 30 minutes a day and eating a plant-based diet goes a long way.
“Small steps have a big outcome,” LeQuire explained. “You don’t have to become a vegetarian. There are all sorts of things you can do short of that to alter your cholesterol and fat intake and still have a very rewarding and satisfying life.”
He’s living proof. LeQuire lost both parents to heart disease and is actively working to overcome a difficult family history.
“I modified my lifestyle to avoid that outcome and not only am I avoiding it, I’ve had two studies done [and both came back] normal,” he said. “I feel good, I feel healthy, I have energy, stamina. It’s wonderful. It is so much better in life to feel good than bad.”
To learn more about the advanced heart screening click here or call 334-273-4450 to schedule an exam