Care About You: Cardiac Calcium Score
Sep 15, 2015
"Cardiovascular disease—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number one killer of women and men in the United States," states the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. "It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities."
How do you know if you are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease?
A valuable screening test offered at Suburban Imaging is Cardiac Calcium Scoring. Cardiac Calcium Scoring is a quick and non-invasive test that uses a CT exam to detect and measure the amount of calcium in your coronary arteries, which is an indicator of heart disease. This screening test can identify an individual who has no symptoms, but has significant plaque in the blood vessel wall. Even a small amount of plaque can attract a clot, thus resulting in a heart attack. An appropriate candidate for Cardiac Calcium Scoring is male, age 35-70, or female, age 40-70, who has risk factors for heart disease (listed below). Some insurance plans pay for Cardiac Calcium Scoring with a referral from a healthcare provider, although you can have this screening test without a referral. Please check with your insurance company. The cost of a screening is $101.
Many risk factors for cardiovascular disease can be changed, controlled or managed, including:
- Tobacco use
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Physical activity
Some risk factors that cannot be changed are:
- Family history of heart attach, stroke or peripheral artery disease.
It is important to know your numbers and what your risk levels are for heart disease. "Each year, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke….80% of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes," states the American Heart Association’s Go Red website. Cardiac Calcium Scoring is one way that men and women can know their heart disease risk and take control of their potential risk factors.