There has been a lot of speculation about what happened to and what could have saved Tim Russert.
Some, like a Wall Street Journal piece, “A Visceral Fear: Unexpected Heart Attacks,” bordered on disease-mongering. That story discussed:
“…experts who think wider use of coronary calcium CT scans could help spot more people at risk of soft-plaque blockages. The noninvasive procedure takes about 15 minutes and costs a few hundred dollars. But few insurers cover it because there is scant evidence that treating people on that basis saves lives.
At a minimum, seeing a picture of the calcium lining their arteries can be a wake-up call for patients to take their coronary-artery disease seriously and to be diligent in taking medication, exercising and making other healthy lifestyle changes.”
I’m sure there are such experts. But there are many other experts who do not support wider use of such scans. It’s not just insurers who are reluctant. The story makes the procedure sound quick and inexpensive. But that is on the individual level. Who should be screened? Everyone over 40? The entire population?
Pictures – even those of the insides of our coronary arteries – don’t tell the whole story. And neither did this piece.