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Heart Health: Calcium Scoring Test Detects Heart Disease

Eating healthy, exercising and not smoking are lifestyle factors long associated with preventing heart disease. Newer evidence, like the recent study [1] of more than a half million people in China that found people who eat an average of one egg a day have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, is adding to the list of preventive measures. But an accurate way to find out if you’re at risk of having a cardiovascular event – like a heart attack or stroke – is to know your coronary calcium score.

A coronary calcium scoring test measures calcium buildup in the walls of the heart’s blood vessels. A CT scan of the heart helps doctors to see and determine a person’s likelihood of experiencing a cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke, in the next five to 10 years.


(Video: The Baptist Health News Team hears from Denil Shekhat, M.D., a radiologist at Bethesda Health, about the calcium scoring test for detecting heart disease. Video by Steve Pipho)

“The more calcium there is in the coronary arteries – the vessels that feed blood to the heart muscle – the higher the cardiac calcium score,” said Denil Shekhat, M.D., a radiologist at Bethesda Health in Palm Beach County. “People with higher scores have at greater risk of developing a narrowing of those arteries, which can lead to a heart attack.”

The Baptist Health South Florida News Team visited Bethesda Outpatient Imaging in Palm Beach County, one of the Baptist Health locations at which calcium scoring is available, to learn more. Watch the video now.