A November 2018 study showed that coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening, an assessment tool that is not currently recommended for people considered at low risk, is a better predictor of blocked coronary arteries at risk for a heart attack and the need for revascularization than standard risk-assessment equations used in medical practice today.
CAC screening provides a direct measure of calcium deposits in heart arteries and is easily obtained on a computed tomography (CT) scan. According to the website Medical Xpress, which published an article regarding the study, Jeffrey L. Anderson, MD, a cardiologist and cardiovascular researcher at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, said “With coronary calcium, we’re looking at a marker indicating the actual presence of anatomic disease – we’re not just looking at probabilities of disease based on a patient’s standard risk factors. The risk factors are worth knowing, but they don’t tell whether or not you actually have the disease.”
For too many Americans, the first and only sign of heart disease is a fatal heart attack.
Many of these individuals had no warning signs, no symptoms, normal cholesterol levels and were non-smokers. In other words, they had little reason to think there was anything to be concerned about.
Today’s technology allows doctors to determine a person’s risk of heart disease. This means that coronary artery disease can be detected in an early stage when there are no symptoms.
A cardiac calcium scoring exam determines the amount of calcium build-up in the coronary arteries of your heart. The amount of calcium present is related to your risk for a heart attack.
This screening exam is not covered by health insurance or Medicare. However, DIS has a very affordable fee: $99. A qualified medical provider’s referral order for the exam is required.
A coronary calcium heart scan can provide more information about a patient’s risk of heart disease, when a physical exam and other tests prove inconclusive. You could save your life with a $99 heart scan.
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