Knowing your risk for cardiovascular disease is instrumental in helping you and your physician devise a plan that can reduce the odds of experiencing a life-threatening heart attack.
At Tanner, we offer a simple, fast, noninvasive and low-cost screening test called a coronary CT calcium score that can determine if calcified plaque has accumulated in your arteries.
CT Scans and Heart Health
Coronary CT calcium scoring allows a medical provider to diagnose the presence and extent of calcified plaque inside the arteries that supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood. Plaque is the fatty substance that can collect along artery walls. As plaque ages, it becomes calcified, eventually leading to a narrowing of the heart arteries — a condition called atherosclerosis — blocking critical blood flow to the heart.
A coronary CT calcium score scan enables medical providers to detect the calcified plaque in coronary arteries in its early stages and determine an individual’s risk for a heart attack. The results of the test are called a “calcium score.”
The entire scan is fast — typically taking no more than 10 minutes — and painless, with no need for contrast material to be injected.
Calcium Score Negative
Calcium Score Positive
Get Your Score
There are some groups of people who would benefit most from a coronary CT calcium score, including those at greatest risk for atherosclerosis. Risk factors for atherosclerosis include:
- Men 45 years of age or older and women 55 years of age or older
- High blood cholesterol (especially low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol)
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes or pre-diabetes
- A history of tobacco use
- A family history of heart attacks (male relative younger than 55, female relative younger than 65)
- Being overweight or obese
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Being post-menopausal
Though the results of the screening can give your patient care team an opportunity to intervene before a cardiac event — such as a heart attack — happens, many insurance plans do not cover the screening. However, Tanner Heart Care offers the screening for $99.
Speak with your physician about whether or not you should receive a coronary CT calcium score; he or she will order the screening. Once you have a physician order, call Tanner Central Scheduling at 770-812-9721. The screenings are offered at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica, so you may choose the facility that’s most convenient for you.
For more information about cardiology services at Tanner, visit Tanner Heart Care.
Tanner Heart & Vascular Specialists has locations in Bremen, Carrollton, Villa Rica and Wedowee. For more information, visit HeartAndVascularSpecialists.org or call 770-812-9326.