You’ve heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” but when it comes to cardiac health, how do you know what prevention methods will be most effective for you? Well, it all boils down to your risk. Figuring out your risk factors, and just how at-risk for cardiac disease or a cardiac event you are, can be done in several ways. However, over time, one of the most accurate and prevailing methods of determining your risk is the Calcium Heart Score. So, in honor of Hearth Health month in February, we thought we’d do a little rundown of this critical measure of heart health.
What’s a Heart Calcium Score?
A calcium heart score is the world’s first volume computed system tomography technology. The test is designed to measure, you guessed it, calcium levels in the coronary arteries by rotating a thin x-ray beam around the patient to create an image. This is done in the course of just five heartbeats, more than twice as fast as conventional multi-slice CT scanners.
The rotation of the scanner produces 64-images, providing our cardiologists with amazing technology by which to understand what’s going on with your heart.
Why Does it Matter?
The Calcium Heart Score is able to accurately identify the calcium that is found in the plaque. This calcium “score” provides you with the degree of calcification, which can determine your risk of having a heart attack in the future. Because calcium in your arteries can be such a clear indicator of risk, having this accurately measured as soon as possible helps mitigate risk and reverse damage in cases where reversal is possible.
It’s also the only clinically proven, non-invasive test that can accurately indicate risk for heart attack or other heart incidents, as well as early detection of heart disease.
How to Find Your Calcium Heart Score
Talk to your cardiologist or make an appointment with us at South Denver Cardiology. The calcium score test is only $99. Generally, if you have one or more typical cardiac risk factors, and are over 40 (male) or 35 (female), a Calcium Heart Score can be recommended as a beneficial test whose results can greatly impact the chosen course of management and treatment.