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HOUSTON, December 23, 2010 – SHAPE, The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication ( ,a nonprofit organization that promotes early detection and preventive intervention to reduce heart attack risk, has opened registration for the SHAPE Carotid IMT Certification Workshop. The workshop for primary care physicians, cardiologists and radiologists, is part of the SHAPE Provider Certification initiative that focuses on best practices for reducing the incidence of acute coronary events and deaths from coronary artery disease.

Workshop participants will learn how to identify clinically appropriate patients for Carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) screening to detect hidden plaque buildup in coronary and carotid arteries, how to apply Carotid IMT in a primary care setting and have an opportunity to perform scans.

“The SHAPE Carotid IMT Certification Workshop illustrates the ways SHAPE is working to raise the level of operator training and experience to achieve high quality results from atherosclerosis tests,” said JoAnne Zawitoski, chair of the SHAPE Board of Directors. “By teaching providers how to responsibly employ scientifically proven screening methodologies such as Carotid IMT as a part of a physician’s preventive medicine practice, SHAPE Provider Certification is making progress toward improving clinical outcomes for patients.”

Carotid IMT scanning by ultrasound is one of two non-invasive imaging tests for atherosclerosis recommended by SHAPE. Carotid IMT tests can assess and reduce an asymptomatic individual’s heart attack risk instead of solely relying on measuring risk factors such as cholesterol. SHAPE also recommends coronary artery calcification scoring (CACS) by a computed tomography (CT) scan. SHAPE recommends the tests be incorporated into routine screening for apparently healthy men and women as they age.

In addition to SHAPE Provider Certification, SHAPE encourages best practices in heart attack screening through SHAPE Certified Centers of Excellence. Unlike traditional cardiovascular clinics that are primarily focused on preventing a second heart attack, SHAPE Certified Centers of Excellence focus on the prevention of a first heart attack.

The day-long SHAPE Carotid IMT Certification Workshop is scheduled Saturday, January 15, 2011 at Trevisio Restaurant and Conference Center in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. To register for free,

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