A Heart-to-Heart with Amy Doneen 

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“A lot of people wonder how that could have happened to Princess Leia?” says Amy Doneen. “Why did Tim Russert have a stress test and die a week later?” asks the medical director of the Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention center and adjunct professor at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

She thinks she knows the answer. They, and millions of other Americans, suffer from cardiovascular disease that hasn’t been effectively diagnosed and managed.

As an example, she notes that while cardiac stress testing has good diagnostic value, it may create a false sense of security. That’s because stress tests are considered “normal’ unless there’s evidence that blood vessels are 70 percent or more occluded. Yet, she says 86 percent of heart attacks occur in people whose vessels are less than 70 percent occluded.

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