Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. And, it often strikes without any symptoms.
You may feel fine, but your heart could be telling a different story.
The good news — when caught early, heart disease is treatable and can be reversed. That’s why knowing more about your heart now means so much in the long run.
One way to get an idea of what’s going on in your heart and the blood vessels leading to it is calcium scoring. Over time, calcium deposits can form in the heart’s arteries.
What is Calcium Scoring?
A calcium scoring test uses low-dose CT-scanning to determine how much calcium is present in the heart vessels,” said Dr. Dan Gavrila, an interventional cardiologist at Marshfield Clinic Weston Center. “A higher score indicates presence of disease in the heart vessels and a higher risk for heart problems like heart attacks.”
Your doctor may recommend Calcium Scoring if you have risk factors for the development of coronary artery disease including:
- High Blood pressure (hypertension)
- Family history of heart disease
- Physical inactivity
The test is not for patients who have had heart surgery; have been diagnosed with heart disease; or have cardiac stents, pacemakers or implantable defibrillators.
“The test is intended to detect heart disease in early stages,” Gavrila said. “It helps to find heart disease before there are symptoms and give an opportunity to take aggressive measures to prevent heart problems.”
Calcium scoring is available at the Marshfield Clinic Wausau, Weston and Marshfield centers.