What Is a Worrisome Calcium Heart Score?
Most people survive their first heart attack. However, a heart attack can cause significant damage to your heart. Recovery can be challenging. Damage to your heart increases your risk of further heart attacks and cardiovascular risks, including cardiovascular death.
You can potentially maintain your health longer and live a better life if you can anticipate and head off your first heart attack. This is the goal of a calcium heart score: to warn you of impending cardiovascular problems so you can take steps to head them off. At South Denver Cardiology, we help people in the South Denver area get a coronary calcium score to take the steps needed to avoid a heart attack.
When You Should Worry about Your Coronary Calcium Score
When you should worry about your coronary calcium score depends on your level of risk tolerance. The coronary calcium score is a continuous measurement, and the higher your score, the more likely you are at increased risk for heart attack.
Generally, any score over 10 is cause for at least mild concern. Although [a mildly elevated CAC score] might be considered an expected finding for your age, any amount of calcium is not normal. This is the time to start talking to your cardiologist about healthy lifestyle changes that can prevent worsening plaque buildup and calcification.
However, it scores over 100, which presents the most serious concern. Scores over 100 indicate a relatively high risk of a heart attack in the next 3-5 years. Scores over 300 indicate a very high risk for a heart attack.
If you have a calcium heart score over 100, your cardiologist might request additional diagnostic tests to determine the true level of your risk. In addition, your cardiologist might recommend tests to look for soft plaque atherosclerosis, which won’t show up in your calcium heart score.
When You Should Get a Heart Calcium Score Test
A heart calcium score can be a powerful indicator of an impending heart attack. However, since not everyone has a high heart attack risk, not everyone needs to get a test for their heart calcium score.
In general, we recommend a heart calcium score test for people between the ages of 40 and 70 who are at increased risk for heart disease. Increased risk means:
- Family history of heart disease
- Past or present smoker
- History of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Male gender
- African American, Native American, and/or Mexican American race
In addition, other risk factors might mean your cardiologist will recommend a heart calcium score test.
Why Choose South Denver Cardiology for Your Coronary Calcium Test
If you are looking for a cardiology practice that uses advanced diagnostics to help prevent heart attacks before they happen, consider South Denver Cardiology. Our cardiologists know that prevention is the best way to extend your life and maintain your quality of life. Exercise programs, diet counseling, and more let us help you maintain heart health and reduce your heart attack risk.
South Denver Cardiology is also prepared if you need high-level intervention for an acute problem. South Denver Cardiology has powerful tools to treat heart problems, from interventional cardiology to structural heart procedures.
Our extensive staff of cardiologists has won many awards for quality patient care. South Denver Cardiology remains one of the leading cardiology practices in the region in part due to our dedication to advanced technology and techniques. We adopt the latest techniques that promise to improve our patient care, especially when it gives us the ability to save more lives than ever before.
To learn how South Denver Cardiology can help you, please call 303-744-1065 or contact us online to request an appointment at our main office in Littleton or one of our other locations.
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As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.Sign Up