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Coronary Calcium Score CT Xray Scan

What Is Your Coronary Calcium Score?

A simple test can discover your heart health

 

Is your doctor still relying on blood tests, blood pressure measurements and ECGs to assess your risk factors and estimate your heart health? There is a non-invasive test that finds out exactly how much calcium and plaque you have in and around your heart. It is a Coronary Calcium Score CT Xray and can be organised by your doctor. “It's the best predictive test for heart disease risk.” You lie in a CT scanner for 10 minutes and hold your breath for a few seconds when told to. It costs about $175 and Pensioners and Health Care Card holders get a 50% discount. There is no Medicare rebate.

Your test result is a number that is your ‘Calcium Score’. It is a measure of the area and intensity of white calcium in the xray image. The score can range from 0 to more than 400. The higher your score, the greater your chance of having a heart attack. The build-up of plaque is called Atherosclerosis Disease. You may not have any symptoms!

 

Calcium Score Patient Studies
Score Risk Disease Chance of a Heart Attack
< 10 years
Number of Patients Dead
> 12 years
0 Zero No Atherosclerosis 1.5% 1%
1 - 10 Very Low Very Mild Disease
11 - 100 Low Mild Disease 4% 2%
101 - 400 Intermediate Moderate Disease 15% 3%
> 400 High Severe Disease 26% 7%
> 1000 Very High Very Severe Disease 37% 12%

 

If your score is above 100 you will be referred to a Cardiologist. They can organise a further test to check for narrowing of your coronary arteries. This is a Coronary Angiogram CT Xray. It is similar to the first test but this time you are injected with dye that shows an image of your heart and arteries and reveals if there is any narrowing of the blood vessels.

There is no link between fitness and Calcium Score.  Are you “a heart attack waiting to happen”?  This scan is recommended for men over 45 and women over 55.

 

On average 50 people (30 male & 20 female) die from heart disease every day.
That is one person every 30 minutes. It is the leading cause of death in Australia.

What is your Score?

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Heart Disease Risk Factors
Risks you can’t change
 

* Age: As you get older, your risk of heart disease increases.
* Gender: Men are at higher risk of heart disease. Women’s risk grows and may be equal to men after menopause.
* Ethnic background: People of some origins such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or people from the Indian sub-continent, have higher risk.
* Family history: If someone in your family has had a heart attack, your risk is usually increased.

   
Risks you can change
  * Smoking: If you are a smoker, you must stop.
* High blood pressure: If it’s too high it needs to be treated. Minimise your salt intake.
* Diabetes: It’s important to manage your diabetes. 
* Being inactive: Not getting enough physical activity isn’t good for your heart health. Move more, sit less. Join Knox SOW!
* Being overweight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of heart disease.
* Unhealthy food: Eating low carbohydrate, high healthy fat foods can help with your weight and risk of diabetes.  It significantly reduces your risk of heart disease.
   (See Heart Healthy Meal Plan.)

* Depression and social isolation: There can be a greater risk of heart disease for people who have depression, are socially isolated or do not have good social support.  

Prevention

To prevent Coronary Artery Disease check out your risk factors above.  The 2 main preventive actions are:  Eat heart healthy 'Real Food' and become more physically active.  2000 steps per day is a good initial target.  Reducing carbohydrates (mainly 'Fake Foods' like sugar and wheat) will reduce your weight, make you less hungry, reduce your risk of getting Type-2 Diabetes and make you feel better.

If you have a low Calcium Score there is no need to take cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as Statins.  There is no link between blood cholesterol level and heart attack risk.  Statins inhibit the function of 2 important substances - CoQ10 and Vitamin K2.  CoQ10 reduces the inflamation of blood vessels that causes plaque.  Vitamin K2 directs calcium away from blood vessels to the bones.  Consult your doctor if you are taking any supplements containing calcium.  If you have a high Calcium Score you should stop taking these.

Always discuss your Calcium Score with your doctor.

 

More information ...

 

  Heart Healthy Meal Plan

		
   Healthy Food
 
Watch the ‘Widowmaker’ movie:
  www.youtube.com/watch?v=WygYk81gXXk
 
Ditch The Carbs:
 

www.ditchthecarbs.com/the-cholesterol-myth

www.ditchthecarbs.com/what-is-a-calcium-score

 
Irish Heart Disease Awareness:
 

www.ihda.ie/videos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

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