Cardiology Specialist

Beverly Hills Institute for Cardiology & Preventive Medicine

Arash Bereliani, MD, FACC

Cardiologist & Internist located in Beverly Hills, CA

At the Beverly Hills Institute for Cardiology & Preventive Medicine in Beverly Hills, California, institute director Dr. Arash Bereliani, a clinical assistant professor of medicine and cardiology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and member of Cedars-Sinai’s prestigious Center of Excellence, brings over 15 years of experience to delivering the most advanced and effective cardiac care available.

Cardiology Q & A

by Arash Bereliani, MD, FACC

Is heart disease entirely preventable?

Certain forms of heart disease could be close to 100% preventable today, yet it remains the leading cause of death among both men and women in our country. As an example, currently, sophisticated imaging, blood and saliva testing can measure many newly-identified risk biomarkers for heart disease, years – even decades – before plague begins to develop in a person’s arteries. In addition, advanced CT scans, called CT coronary calcium scans or CT coronary angiograms, can detect calcified plaque deposits in arteries well before they progress to potential blockages. Another 3-minute sophisticated test (done in the office) will show the degree of abnormalities of the blood vessels and can identify other hormonal abnormalities that could trigger heart disease. These and other cutting-edge screenings now provide such early indicators of a person’s predisposition for heart disease, that the disease itself can usually be prevented. What’s more, early prevention can usually be accomplished exclusively with natural tools, such as: diet, exercise, supplements and lifestyle adjustments. Dr. Bereliani is among a very small number of leading cardiologists who not only use state of-the-art testing, but are also able to interpret the results and utilize them to design individualized prevention programs.

What is the greatest misconception about heart disease?

There are several. However, one of the greatest misconceptions is that passing a basic cholesterol panel with “good numbers,” or a standard EKG-Treadmill test, means you are not at risk for a heart attack. Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, a national study conducted by UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine found that 75% of all patients hospitalized for a heart attack had cholesterol levels that, based on current national guidelines, indicated that they were not at high risk for a cardiovascular event. Similarly, an EKG-Treadmill test (also know as a stress test) only detects artery blockages that are greater than 70% and the sensitivity of this test is only about 60 to 70%! In reality, the majority of heart attack patients have one or more smaller blockages. Despite this well-known information, standard cholesterol panels and stress tests, remain the most used diagnostic tools for assessing heart attack risk. Dr. Bereliani uses much more advanced cholesterol testing (types, subtypes, etc), along with other substances that can equally affect the health of the arteries of the heart.

The second misconception is that cholesterol alone is the cause of heart disease and heart attack. Although high cholesterol levels undoubtedly increase the risk of heart attack and blockage, it is not the only cause or even the most important cause. New research  is beginning to show that the most important cause or the most important underlying cause of coronary artery disease could actually be an insulin-resistance state (not necessarily diabetes).

What are some of the hidden or lesser known causes of heart disease?

Most of us are well aware that high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and being overweight increase the potential for developing heart disease and suffering a heart attack or stroke. Experts, however, now also know and are able to test for many other risk factors, several of which have nothing to do with diet and exercise. Examples of these include but not limited to:

  • Heavy Metal toxicities
  • Certain Vitamin/nutrient  deficiencies
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Vascular inflammation