In the New York Times, the Wells blog writes about a simple way to determine if one has the potential for coronary artery disease. They write about a study that shows in people over 40, the ability to touch your toes while sitting on the floor with legs outstretched correlates with flexibility of the coronary arteries. If somebody is too stiff to touch the toes, they probably also have stiff arteries, increasing the likelihood of coronary artery disease.
They also note a small study that shows increasing your flexibility by stretching can help decrease stiffness of the coronaries. I guess I shouldn't make fun of pilates as a nonexercise anymore. Sign me up for some yoga classes! So next time you're in preop, you can ask your patient to touch his toes while sitting in bed as a quick and dirty way to determine the risk of CAD.
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