(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Heart disease is the number one killer of women, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
However, heart health experts said many of those deaths can be prevented by early detection
A heart score is a test probably not discussed across the dinner table, but doctors said it should be.
“Get the screening because you don’t know what underlying plaque you may have because you don’t have symptoms,” said Aileen Rost, Mosaic Life Care’s Heart Score Team.
Mosaic’s heart score team is pushing resident to put their heart first and get a 20 second screening that could save a life.
“So, a heart score is a specialized computed x-ray of the heart. We focus on the arteries to see if there’s any buildup of plaque. The buildup of plaque impedes the blood flow, the oxygenated blood flow to the heart muscle. That’s what can cause a heart attack,” said Rost.
While men over 45 and women 55 and older who have associated risk factors with heart problems such as a family history of heart disease, elevated cholesterol, an inactive lifestyle or maybe have a history of smoking are great candidates for a heart score, doctors said everyone should be this test done.
“Just because you don’t have symptoms, doesn’t mean you don’t have heart disease,” said Rost, “Genetics plays a very big role in heart disease. It’s a silent thing. You may not have chest pain, but once you have chest pain and the factor is there, we can’t prevent it by using cholesterol medication, lifestyle change or diet.”
According to the American Heart Association, preventing heart disease means making smart choices now that will pay off for the rest of your life.
So, exercise and a healthy diet go a long way in keeping your heart healthy.
Doctors at Mosaic said getting a heart score helps patients pinpoint what areas of their lifestyle they may need to adjust to keep their heart happy and healthy.
“We like to do it early stage to make sure that we catch it early, so we can adjust the lifestyle to impede the issue of having a heart attack down the road,” said Rost.
Besides not being able to have caffiene, nicotine or exercise for four hours to prep for the screening, Rost said the heart score scan itself is easy.
“The patient comes in, registers, goes quickly back to the CAT scan area and lays on the table takes 3-sets of movement images, holding their breath during that time,” said Rost.
Not only is the scan quick and painless, it’s affordable at only $50.
Mosaic offers the heart score at it’s facilities in St. Joseph, Maryville and Albany.
To learn more about the scan and how to schedule an appointment, please visit myMLC.com/score.