A simple test for heart disease predicts long-term mortality

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Canadians–but the good news is that a simple test that can accurately predict long term mortality (chance of death in next 15 years) is available and it can help guide preventive management.

Coronary Artery Calcification (CAC) is a reflection of disease in the arteries that supply the heart. We’ve known for a few years now, that the amount of CAC can predict whether a patient is at risk for a serious cardiac “event” in the next five years. A recent large-scale study has shown that CAC results are even more valuable: they found that CAC was highly predictive for up to 15 years.

When a patient is shown to have calcium in their coronary arteries, they have coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD may be mild or advanced, but this important information helps you and your doctor come up with a game plan that might include some lifestyle changes or medication.

A test for CAC is a simple scan done by CT – it’s completely non-invasive, takes only minutes and doesn’t require any preparation by the patient. The test measures the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries and then provides a score of your relative risks of having a serious cardiac event in the next several years.

Canada Diagnostic Centres has been providing CAC exams since 2000 and is one of the most experienced facilities in Canada in providing this test. For more information about this useful exam, click here or give us a call at 604-709-8522.

  Filed under: Categories: Cardiovascular, CT Scans, Early Detection, News, and Screening Exams. Tags: Calcium Score, coronary, coronary calcium, heart attack risk, heart disease, Private CT, and Private MRI.
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Cut the risk of heart attack in half by controlling blood pressure & cholesterol

A new research article in the medical journal Circulation shows that patients may reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by at least half by getting their blood pressure and cholesterol under control.

A healthy lifestyle is important for minimizing cardiovascular disease but so is taking medications if they are needed to get control over blood pressure and cholesterol.  While preventing heart disease is important, maintaining healthy blood vessels is too!

If you have risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, overweight or sedentary lifestyle, you might benefit from having a Coronary Artery Calcium Score (CACS).  A CACS takes a look at your coronary arteries and can spot small amounts hard plaque in your vessel walls – an early indicator of cardiovascular disease.

For more information about CACS, see our other blog articles:  Patients Who “See” Their Heart Disease are Much More Motivated to Follow Doctor’s Orders (July 31, 2012) and #1 Heart Disease Predictor (September 13, 2012).

Call us today to find out more about CACS at 1-877-709-8522 or send us an email at info@canadadiagnostic.com.  You can read more about our CACS scan and other screening exams offered at Canada Diagnostic here.

  Filed under: Categories: Cardiovascular, Early Detection, Heart Scans, and Screening Exams. Tags: Calcium Score, Canada Diagnostic Vancouver, coronary calcium, CT scan, CT Screening, early detection, heart disease, heart scan, Lung Cancer Screening, MRI Vancouver, Private CT, Private MRI Vancouver, and Screening Exams.
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#1 Heart Disease Predictor

Coronary Artery  Calcium (CAC) – detected by a simple CT screening scan, is the most important predictor of cardiovascular events according to a new analysis published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers found that elevated CAC scores were better predictors of cardiovascular events than six other tests commonly used as risk markers for heart disease for patients with intermediate risk of heart disease.

Today, cardiovascular disease prevention focuses on treating at-risk people based on their overall cardiovascular risk.  Your Doctor may use a tool called the Framingham risk score as a first step in determining your risk profile.  This is a good overall took, but might not be that precise for people with higher than normal risk factors.  So, other risk models can be used in addition to Framingham to get a more accurate picture.

When researchers compared different types of risk markers, they found Coronary Artery Calcium scores to be the best at better clarifying  cardiovascular risk  prediction for intermediate-risk people.

Canada Diagnostic has been offering Coronary Artery Calcium scores since 2002.  It is a quick and accurate way to look at your coronary arteries to detect hard placque, an early indicator of atherosclerosis.  Learn more about the scan and our other atherosclerosis risk screening tests by clicking here.

Call us anytime to find out more about our diagnostic scanning (MRI, CT and Ultrasound) as well as our screening exams.  We would be happy to answer any questions you might have.  604-709-8522.

  Filed under: Categories: Cardiovascular and Heart Scans. Tags: Calcium Score, coronary calcium, heart disease, heart scan, risk factors, and screening exam.
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Improve your heart disease risk

A new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC, April 12, 2011, Vol. 57:15) found that patients who had a screening CT scan of the heart which showed evidence of calcium in their coronary arteries made important lifestyle changes that helped lower their risk of having a cardiac event in the future.

A large number of studies have now shown that a Coronary Artery Calcium Score or CACS improves assessing a patient’s actual risk factors for heart attacks.

Canada Diagnostic has been providing Coronary Artery Calcium Scores since 2002.  This exam is quick, painless and provides some very important information that just might save your life.

Interested in learning more?  Click here or give us a call at 1-877-709-8522 or 604-709-8522.

  Filed under: Categories: Cardiovascular and CT Scans. Tags: coronary calcium, CT, and heart scan.
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