Heart attack, according to the Mayo Clinic, “occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. The blockage is usually a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances, which form plaque in the arteries that feed the heart (coronary arteries). ”It is responsible for many deaths around the world.
“A heart attack is a wake-up call for everyone. Especially for the younger generation, as deaths from heart disease are on the rise in the country. The calcium score is a newer method of predicting the risk of heart attack In the future, and the purpose of detecting calcium in the arteries is to personalize the lifestyle and reduce this risk, ”said Dr. Ashok Seth, president of the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.
Now a new screening method, the calcium score test, is being used to help prevent unforeseen deaths.
What is the test about?
Through the test, the amount of calcium in the coronary artery is determined by a specialized CT scan, which confirms the total occupied area and density.
It has been found that while calcium is an important component for our bones, calcium in the coronary arteries can be an additional risk factor for heart disease. The accumulation of calcium or plaque is made up of fatty substances or LDL cholesterol and fibrin. The accumulations can remain stable in the arteries, but eventually, they can become inflamed and rupture, forming a blood clot that can cause a heart attack.
Therefore, the coronary calcium score test is effective in predetermining the risk of heart attacks. The test allows direct visualization of the amount of calcium deposited in the coronary arteries. While a score of zero means no calcium is seen, suggesting a low probability of heart attack over the next several decades, the higher the score, the higher the risk of heart disease. A score of 100 to 300 means moderate risk, and a score greater than 400 can be an indicator of coronary artery blockage.
The entire test takes 10 to 15 minutes, while the scan time is only 5 to 15 seconds, with low radiation.
Dr. Peeyush Jain, Director, Non-Interventional Cardiology and Department Head – Preventive Health Check, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, said: “The calcium score test helps cardiologists know the risk of heart disease in the future. It is painless, safe, and has a low risk of side effects. Calcium scoring is a method of adjusting risk and designing methods to prevent further progression of artery blockages. “
A person’s calcium score is highly correlated with cardiovascular death and the chances of having a heart attack or stroke, with higher scores representing an increased risk of subsequent events in the years to come.
Treatment could start with cholesterol-medication to decrease along with heart-healthy lifestyle changes that include more exercise and diet modifications. Dr. Mona Bhatia, director and chair of the radiology department at the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, said: “Calcium scoring is now incorporated into global guidelines to improve risk assessment and treatment. This scan is helpful for the patient who is believed to be at uncertain risk for heart disease. It also motivates many people at moderate risk for heart disease to make lifestyle changes for the better. “