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Even people who are sticklers about getting regular screenings for cancer of the colon, breast or prostate may be unaware of a cardiac screening, called the calcium scoring heart scan. Yet, this screening is just as important.
Heart disease is often a “silent” disease with no symptoms, or ones that are barely noticeable. You could be at risk and not realize it. This screening test can help detect heart disease early so you can reduce your risk. What’s involved?
The painless, 10-minute scan measures calcium build-up in the coronary arteries. This calcium score matters because heart disease begins when plaque forms, builds up and calcifies in the arteries. When plaque and other materials sufficiently block the flow of blood to the heart, the result is a heart attack.
The heart scan is appropriate for men over 40 and women over 45 who have any of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, a family history of heart disease or a past or current smoking habit.
When you come to Edward-Elmhurst Health for the heart scan, it also includes a free lipid profile, a glucose measure, a blood pressure reading and a consultation with a cardiac nurse who will help you assess your risk of cardiac disease over the next 10 years.
Your calcium score and other risk indicators will determine what type of follow-up treatment you will need. For example:
Edward-Elmhurst has had this heart scan since the late '90s and performed the test on more than 30,000 people. For some patients, it provided peace of mind. For others, it saved their lives.
Learn more about heart screenings at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Find out if you’re at risk for heart disease.
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