A heart scan is a custom CT scan that measures calcium in the coronary arteries. As people age, "atherosclerosis", which is the hardening of the arteries, is a disease which develops and symbolizes the deposit of plaques in the artery walls. These plaques may hinder the flow of blood, and when the plaque continues to grow, it can block normal blood flow enough to cause chest pain (angine pectoris) or a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Plaques are made of cholesterol, calcium, muscle cells, and connective tissue. There is a pretty close conneciton between the calcium quantity in an artery and the amount of plaque in the same artery.
Physicians typically use heart scans to measure the amount of calcium in the artery wall which gives them a calcium score to relay to the patient. The calcium score is used to provide an approximation of the future risk for cardiac episodes. This does not mean or approximate a fatal heart attack. Patients need to be cognizant that the calcium score does not provide an accurate measure of the arterties blockage severity. As an example, numerous small plaques in near each other in an artery may give a similar calcium score as one with severe plaque. Although, the deductions and control for the two occurences may be quite different.
Heart disease is the primary cause of deaths in the U.S.A. More than twenty-five percent of all deaths are caused by heart disease. Furthermore, it is the top cause of disability. The chances of getting heart disease are greater as you get older. If you are a man over the age 45 or a woman over age 55 your risk is greater. If your family history shows heart disease it rises further. Fortunately, there is something you can do to decrease your risk of getting heart disease. Follow these steps below:
* Know your blood pressure and control it
* Engage in regular exercise and be active
* Don't smoke
* Test to see if you have diabetes; if you have it, control it
* Find out your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and control them
* Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
* Keep a healthy weight for your body mass; do a BMI test(body mass index)
Books on Heart Disease and Health
Heart Scanning Research
Your heart's health is not something you want to take lightly. It is very important to be at optimal health whenever possible. Actually, your oevrall health will affect your heart as well. So, the common clause applies which is to maintain a regular diet and regular exercise. No spikes in strenuous activity or excessive eating habits. Healthy foods would include a low fat diet or fat from fish is considered beneficial but always consult with your personal physician to be absolutely sure. By eating foods rich in calories, or they high fat content, fried, or loads of sugar may not be the best item for an unhealthy heart. The saying to eat in moderation applies well to everybody.
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