Heart disease and heart attacks claim the life of 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women every year. In 2017 that accounted to about 350,000 men and about 250,000 women. The idea that there is no warning and one day you are fine and the other day you are dead is 100% inaccurate. The problem is that most people are not doing the testing that they need to do in order to recognize their problem so that it can be corrected. Heart scans, like a Calcium CT (also known as a calcium score) can help to determine the arterial plaque around the heart. This plaque reduces the blood flow, and thus oxygen, that can get to the heart. This reduction in blood flow, oxygen, increases the strain on the heart and ends up causing heart attacks. Plaque can also break off of the arterial wall and flow through the blood vessel and cause a stroke. Either way plaque in and around the heart is something that is extremely dangerous and needs to be looked at. Once we determine that there is plaque around the heart there are several things that can be done. If the issue is severe stints can be placed to ensure blood flow while a better diet, exercise, and medical protocol can be put into place. If it is less severe perhaps the surgical stints will not be needed and all that would be needed is diet and exercise changes. Regardless it is critical that not only do you get a Calcium CT but that you get the proper follow up to ensure that any growth of plaque is monitored properly. If you have questions please call the office for a consult.