Facts about Heart Disease
58 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease, making coronary artery disease (CAD) the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Mor Americans die of heart disease then all types of cancer combined.
CAD is mostly produce by atherosclerosis (plaque deposits in the wall of the coronary arteries causing a narrowing of the arteries). Until recently there were no non-invasive studies that could directly evaluate the coronary arteries for the presence of atherosclerotic disease.
A cardiac scoring exam shows the arteries of the heart and can predict one’s likelihood of a future heart attack. Even with no family history of heart disease, many people, like to have this quick and simple test performed. The procedure allows body radiologists to provide patients with the information they need to keep their heart healthy and their mind at ease.
What is Calcium Scoring?
Calcium Scoring (also known as Cardiac Scoring) is a CT exam is used as a screening tool in the evaluation of coronary artery disease. The calcium scoring exam quantifies the total load of calcified (hardened) plaque in the coronary arteries based upon the volume and density of calcified plaque. It then compares that score to a large reference population matched to the patient’s age and sex. This exam can be used as a valuable tool in conjunction with other clinical risk factors such as: Family history, cholesterol level, lipid profile, etc. to help the clinician determine how best to manage patients with coronary artery disease.
Who needs a Calcium Scoring Exam?
This technique should be used for individuals considered to be at high risk for developing heart disease. Risk factors for heart disease include:
1. Age-men 40 or older, women 45 or older.
2. High cholesterol
3. High blood pressure
4. History of smoking
5. Family history of heart disease
6. High stress levels
8. Sedentary lifestyle
If one or more of these factors apply to you, I encourage you to talk with your doctor about considering this procedure. Patients who have had previous cardiovascular treatment or surgery, including coronary stinting, coronary bypass surgery, pacemaker placement, or valve replacement are not candidates for this screening procedure.
How much does the Calcium Scoring Exam cost? $99-149.00. I paid $149.00 (but my insurance reimbursed me 100%). Some facilities are offering a special during February due to this being National Heart Month!!!
Due to my strong family history of heart disease, I had a Calcium Scoring Examination performed in September 2012. My results are below: