Who should get a calcium score test and when?
Calcium Score Test, also known as Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) Score test, is a non-invasive imaging test that measures the amount of calcium in your heart’s arteries. By using this test, determine your risk of developing coronary heart disease in a person. But who should get a Calcium Score Test and when? Your coronary arteries and heart are examined using a CT scanner to determine the amount of calcium present. The results allow you to calculate your CAC score based on how much plaque buildup has occurred in your arteries. High CAC scores indicate an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. A low score indicates that your arteries are free of plaque buildup, resulting in a lower cardiovascular disease risk. The American Heart Association recommends that people between 40-75 years old with intermediate risk factors for heart disease should consider getting this test done.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- A family history of heart disease
People with radiation therapy to their chest area or those with chronic kidney disease may benefit from getting a calcium score in Morristown, NJ done earlier than age 40. It’s important to note that not everyone needs this test especially those with low-risk factors for developing heart disease. Discuss your situation with your doctor if you’re unsure about getting tested. Ideally, it’s best to get tested before any symptoms of heart disease occur. Taking preventative measures will help lower your risk and potentially prevent heart attacks and strokes. Feeling dizzy, short of breath, or experiencing chest pain. These symptoms could indicate that there is an underlying issue with your heart and may require further testing beyond the Calcium Score Test. Consider some things before getting your Calcium Score Test done if you decide to get it. Fasting for at least four hours beforehand ensures accurate results.
Your doctor should also know if you have any allergies or kidney problems because these could affect your test. This test is relatively noninvasive and doesn’t require invasive techniques. You’ll be asked to lie down on a table while the CT scanner takes images of your heart. After getting your CAC score results back, your doctor will be able to make recommendations on how best to manage any risks associated with cardiovascular disease. Control your cholesterol levels by exercising more regularly or taking medication.