What’s a heart scan – and should you have one?
February is celebrated every year as “heart month” to focus attention on the importance of heart health. As with all health-focused celebrations, the purpose is to remind you why it’s important to be proactive with your health. An easy way to do that is a heart CT scan.
A “Computed Tomography” or CT scan is a simple, 15-minute test that uses X-ray and computer technology to spot plaque deposits in arteries. These deposits can be an early sign or eventually lead to heart disease, heart attacks or other problems. Spotting them early is a proven lifesaver.
You may consider this test if:
- Heart problems run in your family.
- You are a man over 40 or a woman over 50, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- You smoke or have been a smoker -- smoking is a known risk factor for developing heart disease and lung cancer.
- You are overweight -- obesity is a definite risk factor for heart disease.
- You have diabetes
- Or you have issues with cholesterol or blood pressure.
Having an abnormal score on the scan means you are at more risk for heart problems and heart attacks. Some people with no symptoms have had scans that found such high calcium deposits, it resulted in immediate referral for interventions – likely saving their lives.
If you already know you have heart problems, have had surgery or stents, you should not have the scan. It is always best to consult with your doctor before scheduling screenings.
Reid Health offers the scan at a special discounted rate of just $29 in February and at other times during the year. To schedule, simply call (765) 983-3358.