CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With February being American Heart Month, Radiology & Imaging is encouraging everyone to get a CT Calcium score exam.
A CT Calcium score exam is quick and helps to identify plaque levels in your heart arteries. According to the company, 23.5% of all deaths in the United States are attributed to cardiovascular disease.
Corpus Christi ranks third among major metropolitan areas for the highest death rate increase from cardiovascular disease. Dr. Drake Beauchamp at Radiology & Imaging said there are many considerations that go into the exam such as age, family history and ethnic background.
"The CT Calcium score examination is really specifically tailored to middle-aged adult patients who have what is called intermediate risks of cardiovascular disease,” said Beauchamp, a physician and radiologist at the company.
Those patients with higher scores have a greater risk for heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Scott Leeton, president of the Corpus Christi Police Officers Association, recently learned about the CT Calcium score exam.
"It shows the amount of calcium that you have built up in your arteries which can obviously lead up to a heart attack,” Leeton said.
Beauchamp said they really want to target patients that are in the intermediate category of cardiovascular disease.
"They're the ones that we can either determine the presence of the calcified plaques or say that there's no plaques,” said Beauchamp.
Beauchamp said ways to improve your heart health include changing your diet, losing weight and including an exercise program.
"And addressing any underlying medical conditions specifically those conditions like high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes,” said Beauchamp.
Leeton said the exam results are good for your primary physician to have.
"You have a resource for your doctor to see is it getting worse or is it not, how am I going to monitor it is it under control, so it's quite important,” said Leeton.
For more information about CT Calcium score exam or to schedule an appointment with Radiology and Imaging visit their website here.