Calcium Scoring: What is it? What are the benefits?

Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans is at risk for heart disease? Most people will never show symptoms. That’s why it’s important to know your risk, so you can protect yourself from heart issues before they happen. 

What is calcium scoring?

As we know, the risk for heart disease increases with age, especially in those who also have other risk factors such as a family history of heart disease, smoking, overweight, sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. Those who are over 40 years old and have any of these risk factors can benefit from a quick, low-dose CT scan called “coronary calcium scoring.” Calcium scoring measures the amount of calcification (or plaque buildup) in the arteries around the heart. These calcifications indicate “hardening of the arteries,” which can lead to heart disease or a heart attack. The greater the amount of calcium present, the higher a person’s calcium score will be. Calcium scores range from 0-300, 0 meaning no calcium is present and risk for a heart attack in the future is low, 300 indicating very high to severe risk of an adverse event, such as a heart attack, due to heart disease in the next five years. 

Who can benefit from calcium scoring?

Men and women over 40, especially with other risk factors of heart disease, will benefit from a calcium scoring scan. A calcium scoring scan can also help guide your treatment if you have a low to moderate risk of heart disease or if your risk is unclear. Talk to your doctor to see if calcium scoring is right for you. Those who receive a high calcium score should consult their primary care doctor or cardiologist to discuss the next steps. 

Calcium scoring is not typically covered by insurance, so Garden City Hospital is offering the test at a competitive price of just $75 during the month of February in honor of American Heart Month. Talk to your doctor about calcium scoring at Garden City Hospital. Call 734-458-4366 to schedule your appointment today.

Are you at risk? Take our free Heart Risk Assessment to see if Calcium Scoring may be right for you.