Staying Heart Healthy for American Heart Month
February is American Heart Month, which is observed to help raise awareness for good heart health and to encourage healthy habits to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Heart health is extremely important to keeping your body happy and functioning. Heart disease kills more people annually than all forms of cancer combined, and 72% of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
There are several ways to keep your heart happy and healthy including not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling your blood sugar and cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise and visiting your doctor for regular wellness checks.
At TRA, we provide Coronary Calcium Scans to assess heart health and detect any possible Coronary Artery Disease. A Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring is a non-invasive procedure and it takes about 15 minutes to perform the exam.
Major risk factors for Coronary Artery Disease are high blood cholesterol levels, having a family history of heart attacks, diabetes or high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity, among others.
Some risk factors are used in calculating an atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk score, which helps determine if a cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring is indicated. If a calcium score comes back as 0, this means there is very little risk for heart disease. High scores require patients to follow up for further evaluation.
The extent of CAD is graded according to your calcium score:
Those looking to better understand their risk of heart attacks or other cardiac events benefit greatly from a Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring as it is convenient, causes no pain, and has no side effects and no long-term radiation exposure.
For more information about our Cardiac CT exams, including insurance coverage, what to expect and how to schedule an exam, check out this webpage.