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Cardiac Scoring: A Deep Dive Into Assessing Heart Health

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Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. No matter your age or lifestyle, it’s important to keep it healthy to prevent heart disease. One of the tools you can use to assess your heart’s health is cardiac scoring. This simple procedure gives you a solid baseline to help identify how at risk you are for cardiac events like strokes or heart attacks. Here’s a deep dive into what the process looks like and how to use it to improve your wellbeing.

What Is Cardiac Scoring?

Cardiac scoring uses a CT scan to provide high-resolution images of your heart. Physicians will study these CTs to detect plaque buildup, also known as coronary artery calcification (CAC). This test evaluates your risk for CAC to help you make an informed decision about your heart health. The higher your cardiac score, the more likely you may be to suffer from a stroke or heart attack. The CAC scale is as follows:

  • 0: No sign of plaque
  • 1-99: Mild deposits of plaque
  • 100-399: Moderate plaque
  • 400 or greater: Severe CAC

Depending on your CAC level, your doctor may recommend a treatment plan including medication, lifestyle changes or further testing.

Who Should Have a Cardiac Scoring Test?

Cardiac scoring is a test that can benefit everyone, but certain populations are more at risk for CAC. If any of the following apply, it may be recommended to have the scan.

  • Age: Men between 40-70 and women between 50-70 years old are recommended for cardiac scoring.
  • Family History: If your family has a history of heart disease or stroke, you may have a higher risk.
  • Smoking: Smoking tobacco dramatically increases your risk of heart disease. Health Conditions: High cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and chronic kidney disease are a few conditions that can lead to CAC.

Benefits of Cardiac Scoring

No matter your medical history, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor and determine if a cardiac score is right for you. There are several benefits to cardiac scoring, including:

  • Helps determine risk: Your CAC score is a factual, quantifiable score that directly relates to your risk level for cardiac problems.
  • Detects problems early: Cardiac scoring can identify people at risk of a heart attack or stroke before heart disease symptoms emerge, helping get ahead of the problem before it starts.
  • Easy procedure: CT cardiac scoring does not require injections or incisions. It is a painless, non-invasive procedure that’s easy to undergo, making it accessible to nearly everyone.

Get Your CT Cardiac Score at Inverness Medical Imaging

If you think CT cardiac scoring is the right test for you, rely on experienced subspecializing radiologists at Inverness Medical Imaging. Since 1988, we’ve prioritized quality care, convenience and comfort for all of our patients. Using the most advanced technology in the region, we provide you with high-quality care so you can make the best decision for you and your health. Let our compassionate team of board-certified radiologists and registered technicians take care of you by contacting our offices today.