What is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)?
You probably already know good calcium is for your bones, no doubt stemming from the popular “Got Milk?” commercials that constantly ran in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. But did you also know that calcium is important in regards to your heart health?
One of the most common culprits behind heart attacks is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), or the narrowing or hardening (calcification) of the arteries due to a buildup of calcium-containing plaque. No, not the kind of plaque you get on your teeth – this kind of plaque is primarily composed of fats, calcium deposits, and cholesterol, and you can bet that it’s not good for your heart.
Imagine if your arteries very slowly started to harden up like your bones. This is essentially what happens when plaques inside the arteries begin to calcify – the increasingly more rigid artery walls make it harder for your arteries to expand and contract in order pump blood throughout your body and to your heart. If left untreated, the plaque can grow inside the arteries of the heart slowly over time and can eventually restrict or block the flow of blood to the muscles of the heart.
A Coronary Calcium Scan, also known as a Heart Scan, is a specialized x-ray test that provides pictures of your heart, allowing your doctor to detect and measure calcium-containing plaque in the arteries.
The Coronary Calcium Scan is one of the most effective tests in assessing heart attack risk, as it identifies the presence of plaque buildup in the heart itself, rather than simply measuring elevated cholesterol in the blood stream.
In fact, this test is so effective that the government requires diagnostic centers to charge a flat rate of $99, making it affordable for everyone.
Candidates for this test include anyone at risk for or with a history of:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Heart Disease
- Cigarette Smoking
- Overweight or Obesity
- Physical Inactivity
How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?
No preparation or fasting required. Just bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.
When will I receive my results?
Once completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.