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Calcium scan may be useful in assessing heart risks.

A computed tomography (CT) imaging test called a coronary artery calcium (CAC) scan may be more accurate than other methods of determining the risk of coronary artery disease, according to a review published March 6, 2017 in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. A CAC scan can show whether calcium has built up where plaque is located in coronary arteries. Once a CAC scan is performed, results are then translated into a CAC score; the higher the CAC score, the greater the risk for future heart disease. The study authors noted that calcium in coronary arteries can be detected many years before any symptoms of heart disease appear, which can serve as a motivating factor to encourage heart-healthy lifestyle choices, as well as allowing for earlier, more effective treatment of heart disease. Other reported advantages of CAC scans include low radiation exposure during the scan and a lower cost than other types of imaging. Currently, coronary artery disease risk is often calculated based on factors including blood pressure, total and HDL cholesterol, blood glucose, age, sex, and tobacco use.

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Title Annotation:FRONTLINE
Publication:Women's Health Advisor
Date:Jun 1, 2017
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