Many patients with coronary artery disease are walking time bombs, heart attacks just waiting to happen.

While the focus should be on making the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent cardiac events, it's useful to know who's most at risk – and new technology may help us figure that out.

According to a study published in July in Radiology, the amount of calcium in the arteries of patients with coronary artery disease seems to have a direct connection to the risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death.

If this holds up under further study, it's significant. But it's only the first part of the battle, and unfortunately, no one seems interested in winning that second part.

When a doctor meets a patient at risk of a heart attack, he typically puts him on a series of meds that come with a range of nasty side effects, not least of which is the drug-induced haze that clouds the minds of so many older patients who take too many meds.

Even worse, these meds do nothing to heal the conditions related to coronary artery disease and heart disease. All they do is manage the symptoms, and in most cases need to be taken in perpetuity.

For example, many patients are given calcium channel blockers to lower their blood pressure. They work by increasing the magnesium levels in red blood cells. They also have side effects, such as dizziness, headaches and constipation.

You can often get the same result with no side effects by simply increasing your magnesium intake.

It's basic medicine, yet most doctors aren't even aware of it. And how could they be? It's not taught in medical schools anymore. Doctors are educated by simply learning which drugs to prescribe for which conditions, and this is just one example of how that's hurting us.

There's more to managing blood pressure and heart disease than magnesium, but it can be done naturally. It's something I write about regularly in Health Revelations. Subscribe now, and you can go into the online archives to read my completely natural plan for getting blood pressure under control in the May issue.

And if your heart disease is being caused by metabolic syndrome, be sure to take a look at the June and July issues. My simple, three-step plan for reversing metabolic syndrome is not only completely natural – it works.

It's always great to have new tests and tools that can help identify the patients most at risk for any condition.

But they're worthless if, in the end, we do nothing to heal the condition itself.