Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the United States. Every 40 seconds an American has a heart attack and half of those patients don’t experience any symptoms before their heart attack. Getting screened is important for detecting early signs of heart disease and it could potentially save your life.
The cardiac calcium score is a non-invasive test that measures the amount of calcified plaque in your coronary arteries, which will help your doctor calculate your risk for heart attacks and strokes. The higher your coronary calcium score, the larger the amount of plaque in your artery wall—and the greater your risk for a heart attack. The cardiac calcium score is recommended if you are over the age of 40, have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, or are overweight.
“A coronary calcium score is a fast, inexpensive and non-invasive way of screening people for coronary artery disease,” says Dr. David D’Agate, a cardiologist at Suffolk Heart Group. “It’s becoming very popular because as time goes on a lot of medical societies are starting to incorporate the score in their guidelines. We need to do a better job at screening for this deadly disease and the calcium score seems to be filling that void.”
Within Health offers a Heart & Lung plan that covers both the cardiac calcium score and low dose chest CT scan, which is a non-invasive test that uses a CT scan to detect lung cancer or pulmonary nodules. The low dose chest CT scan is recommended if you are over the age of 50, currently smoke, or have smoked in the past 15 years.
They are extending their heart month promotion for a few more days to offer a special 25 percent discount off the cost of the Heart & Lung plan. Within Health provides access to the latest in medical imaging technology and subspecialty trained radiologists, partnering with leading radiology centers across the country. They connect you to physicians to ensure that a screening is right for you while removing time-consuming visits to doctor’s offices, and offer set rates for out-of-pocket preventive screens and provide flexible payment arrangements.
During the cardiac calcium score and low dose chest CT scan, the patient lies down in a CT scanner while cross-sectional images are taken of their lungs and heart. EKG leads are placed on their chest to sync the pictures to their heart rate and they are required to hold their breath for a few seconds during the exam. The entire process takes one minute and emits a very low amount of radiation.
“There are no needles and we don’t hurt you in any way,” adds Bob Day, chief operating officer at Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology. “The cardiac calcium score is a very simple way of imaging your coronary arteries and has become one of the popular growing procedures that we’re performing.”
Each scan comes with a free online consultation and you will have a brief call with a doctor to ensure that the scan is right for you. After the doctor confirms your eligibility, your scan will be scheduled at one of Within Health’s partner imaging centers.