Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide and it can affect anyone, men and women of all ages and races. More than half of all heart attacks are fatal but the risk of cardiovascular events can be dramatically reduced with the appropriate medicines and care. If you know you are at risk, you can seek proper treatment before you have signs and symptoms. A heart scan can help identify if you’re at risk.
A heart scan, also called a coronary calcium scan, uses a CT scan (a special type of X-ray test) to provide pictures of your heart to your doctor so he/she can detect and measure calcium-containing plaque in your heart’s arteries. The amount of calcium is given a score and is combined with your other health information. Your doctor can then use the score to identify heart disease, before you even have signs and symptoms. The test results may prompt your physician to develop a treatment plan for reducing your risk of a heart attack or other heart related issues.
“Heart scans are important, and they can save a person’s life. The results may show a patient’s immediate need for medication or lifestyle changes. That can significantly reduce their chances of a future heart attack or stroke,” says Amber Kuhn, Director of the MHP Imaging Department where the heart scans are conducted.
A heart scan isn’t for everyone, though. It is not recommended for those under 40 or those who have already experienced cardiac events. However, it is recommended for those who are at moderate risk of heart disease or when the risk is unclear. A scan may also be recommended by your doctor if he or she would like to get a clearer understanding of your individual risk for heart disease.
A heart scan is recommended for anyone with two or more of the following risk factors:
- Over the age of 40, younger than 80
- Has Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes
- Cigarette smoker or significant smoking history
- Hypertension or anyone being treated for hypertension
- A family history of heart disease
If you are interested in having a heart scan, please talk with your provider or call 317.421.5678. We can assess your initial risk factors over the phone and schedule your heart scan today. The cost for a heart scan at MHP is $49 and your insurance company will not be billed.