$50 Heart Scan Detects Blockage in Arteries
“Half of all heart attacks lead to death, yet most heart attacks are preventable. They happen because people have no idea they have heart disease,” said Glenn Huth, MD, a vascular internist with ThedaCare Cardiovascular Care. “A coronary calcium scan is the easiest, most affordable way to find out your risk of heart disease.”
Heart scans, also known as coronary calcium scans, help doctors diagnose heart disease before a person shows any symptoms. The painless CT scan can detect the buildup of cholesterol plaque in arteries that can lead to heart disease or a heart attack. ThedaCare Cardiovascular Care offers hearts scans for $50.
According to Dr. Huth, an otherwise healthy person who even sees his primary care doctor for a yearly physical will still only have a somewhat better than 50/50 chance of knowing the status of his heart’s arteries. “That’s why these scans are so important. Unless you literally see the full picture, we don’t know your risk. If you do have heart disease, we can do a lot of things to help you.”
A person with just one or more of these risk factors can benefit from a heart scan:
- Men age 45+
- Women age 55+
- Low HDL cholesterol
- High LDL cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of heart disease
No special preparation is necessary for the test, Dr. Huth said. The CT scanner simply passes over a person three times, and the entire appointment takes about 15 minutes. The results of the scan are sent to the person’s doctor who will interpret and share the findings. “A higher calcium score means a higher risk of heart attack. A score of zero means there is no calcification in the coronary arteries, so the chance of having a heart attack over the next five years is very low,” Dr. Huth said.
It’s a perfect time to look deep into your heart—or the heart of someone you love. To schedule a heart scan during Heart Month, please call 920.731.8900. Gift certificates are available.