Discover the Hidden Enemy: Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Did you know that coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in women and men in the United States? It’s a serious health concern that often goes unnoticed. Fortunately, calcium score testing can help change the game!

What’s a Calcium Score?

It’s a non-invasive imaging test designed to measure the amount of calcium in the arteries around your heart. These arteries are responsible for supplying your heart with vital oxygen and nutrients. When calcium builds up in these arteries, it indicates a condition called atherosclerosis, which causes the artery walls to thicken and harden. Calcium scores can detect this buildup even before you experience symptoms.

How Does a Calcium Score Work?

During a calcium scoring test, a computed tomography (CT) scan takes a closer look at your coronary arteries to detect calcium deposits. These deposits are linked to fatty substances called atherosclerotic plaques. When these plaques accumulate, they can restrict blood flow to your heart, leading to heart attacks.

Based on the density and extent of the calcification observed during the CT scan, a calcium score is calculated. The score provides a numerical value ranging from 0 to over 1000. A higher calcium score suggests a greater amount of calcification and increases the likelihood of significant atherosclerosis and the presence of CAD. On the other hand, a calcium score of 0 may indicate no detectable calcification and a low risk of CAD. Scores in between help assess varying degrees of atherosclerotic burden.

Both age and gender play a role in interpreting calcium scores. As we age, the risk of developing atherosclerosis and CAD naturally increases. However, it’s important to note that men generally have a higher prevalence of atherosclerosis and CAD compared to premenopausal women. But don’t let that fool you! After menopause, the risk for women rises, and the gender gap narrows. To ensure accurate evaluation, gender-specific thresholds are used when interpreting calcium scores.

Unveiling the Full Picture: Calcium Scoring and Beyond

Calcium scoring is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to assessing CAD risk. While it provides valuable information about the presence and extent of atherosclerosis, it doesn’t directly detect plaque rupture or coronary artery blockages. In some cases, individuals with soft, non-calcified plaques, especially middle-aged individuals, may receive low or even zero scores, underestimating their risk. That’s why calcium scoring is typically combined with other diagnostic tools and clinical assessments to make informed decisions about management and treatment.

Empowering Your Heart Health Journey

Calcium scores can be a game-changer in preventing heart disease! Studies have shown that a high calcium score is a strong predictor of future heart disease events like heart attacks and strokes. By identifying individuals at high risk through calcium scoring, we can take proactive steps to reduce the risk of heart disease. This includes making lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity, improving your diet, quitting smoking, and even considering medications to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Schedule Your Calcium Score Testing in NYC Today

It’s time to empower ourselves and take control of our heart health. Calcium scoring can be a powerful tool in our fight against CAD. If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart condition, contact Concorde Medical Group to discuss the benefits of calcium score testing. To schedule an appointment with our cardiologists and advanced specialists, please view our cardiology clinics and schedule a consultation through our secure online form. Take charge of your heart health with calcium scores today!

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