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Heart disease is the leading cause of death world-wide for both men and women*. Take a look at these statistics:
(*The source for the health statistics is the American Heart Association’s 2015 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, which is compiled annually by the American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other government sources.) It is more important than ever to take care of your heart! Knowing your risk factors is the key, and if you have two or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease the heart calcium score may be helpful to you. Heart calcium scoring can help identify your risk for heart disease. When you know what you’re facing, you can make lifestyle changes that may reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack, stroke or other forms of cardiovascular disease.
Early detection is the key to prevention. Penrose St. Francis is committed to your cardiovascular health, and, we're offering the Heart Calcium CT scan for only $149. Our team of cardiovascular specialists will help you determine your cardiovascular risk based on the results.
What is Heart Calcium Scoring? Heart calcium scoring is a simple, convenient screening to identify coronary artery disease (CAD) using computerized tomography (CT). Calcium Scoring looks for calcium deposits in the walls of the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the body. The amount of calcium found on this scan helps identify your risk for CAD and its complications. It can help your doctor determine the most appropriate treatment for slowing the progression of coronary artery disease. Calcium Scoring can be completed within 20-30 minutes, does not require the injection of contrast material and is accomplished with minimal radiation to the body. Who can benefit from Calcium Scoring? People with the following risk factors can benefit:
*PLEASE NOTE: Women should always inform the CT technologist and their physician if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
How do you prepare for this screening? No special preparation is necessary. You may continue to take your usual medications but should avoid caffeine and smoking the morning of the scan. You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
How does Calcium Scoring work? Heart calcium scoring is painless, fast and easy. The technologist will begin by positioning you on the CT table and placing EKG leads on your chest to monitor your heart during the scan. The scan is usually performed while you are lying flat on your back with your arms raised above your head. The technologist will assure that you are comfortable on the table before the scan begins. The table will move through the scanner to determine the correct starting position and then move through again once the actual CT scan is performed. During the scan, you will be alone in the room but the technologist will be able to see, hear and communicate with you at all times. When the examination is complete, the technologist will ask you to wait until they verify that the images can be accurately interpreted. Immediately after the test you are able to return to normal activities.
What does your score mean? A negative scan (calcium score of “0”) shows no calcium within the coronary arteries and suggests that over the next two to five years that there is a low risk of an event related to Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). A positive scan means that CAD is present, and the amount of calcium helps predict the degree of coronary artery disease. A score greater than 400 indicates extensive coronary artery disease, which suggests that there is a high risk of a coronary event in the next two to five years.
Calcium Scoring is considered a screening, so it does not require a physician referral. If you have risk factors for heart disease, calcium scoring may help you and your physician determine the best treatment for you. What are the limitations of Calcium Scoring?
Watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta explore the signs, tests, and lifestyle changes that could result in "The Last Heart Attack."
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