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Heart Screening

Cardiac Screening Exams in Knoxville, TN

Detecting Heart Disease Early with Cardiac Calcium Scoring CT

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women, including people of most racial and ethnic groups, in the United States. The CDC reports that a person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.

However, a simple, quick and non-invasive screening test may help save your life. CT cardiac calcium scoring is used to detect plaque in your coronary arteries and it is one of the most advanced methods available today to detect heart disease in its earliest stages. This procedure identifies calcium buildup, or plaque, in the arteries to determine if there is an increased risk for heart attack.

Who should get a CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring Test?

CT cardiac calcium scoring is recommended for women ages 55 to 75, men ages 45 to 75 and those at increased risk for heart disease due to factors like family history and lifestyle. There are several risk factors for heart disease. While some factors cannot be controlled, including age, gender and family history, making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce the chance of heart disease.

Consider asking your physician for a referral if you have any of the following risk factors:

  • High cholesterol
  • Family history of heart attacks
  • Diabetes or family history of diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Overweight or obese
  • Low amounts of physical activity

The calcium score directly corresponds to the likelihood of having heart disease or a heart attack. The lower the calcium score and percentile rank, the less likely a cardiac event. This test helps physicians determine what preventative or corrective actions, including drug therapies or lifestyle modifications, may be warranted based on the results.

The cardiac calcium scoring exam requires a physician referral and takes approximately ten minutes to complete. CT cardiac calcium scoring is not typically covered by health insurance plans but low cash-pay pricing is available.