The Nation's Health + [Heart scans]

Heart scans: Money can't buy health

Fallen Enron CEO, Kenneth Lay, was pronounced dead early this a.m. after suffering a heart attack.

Mr. Lay apparently had no history of heart disease and there's been no indication that symptoms provided any warning. His death was therefore classified as "sudden cardiac death".

Healthcare

Yet here's a man previously worth hundreds of millions of dollars with access to any test or medical system he desired--many times over. Even more recently, with his wealth reduced following his legal troubles, he and his wife managed to put away $4 million dollars to ensure an income from the interest through annuities, untouchable by the courts.

Detecting Mr. Lay's heart disease would have cost him around a few hundred dollars or whatever it costs for a CT heart scan in his city. This would have alerted his (hopefully knowledgeable) doctor that he was a time-bomb. Pile on all the stress he'd been suffering, whether deserved or no, and the diagnosis would have required little thought.

Instead, Mr. Lay has joined the thousands of Americans who will die this year because of failing to get a simple, 30-second test that costs one-tenth the cost of a stress test. Mr. Lay wasn't as lucky as former President Bill Clinton, whose doctors likewise blundered their way through and missed obvious levels of heart disease.

All Mr. Lay needed was better information: get a heart scan, then follow a program of prevention like the Track Your Plaque program. You may not have hundreds of millions of dollars, but you have the information on how to not follow in Ken Lay's footsteps. Track Your Plaque--and stay alive.