Calcium Scan Helps Predicting Heart Attack, Stroke Among Those Considered At Risk

“We found that 15 percent of people believed to be at very low risk actually had high coronary artery calcium scores above 100 and were at relatively high risk of a cardiac event over the next seven years,” says Roger Blumenthal, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center, who is a co-author of the study.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Coronary artery calcium testing trumps cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and other risk factors in predicting heart attacks and deaths

A new study shows that coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening, an assessment tool that is not currently recommended for people considered at low risk, should play a more prominent role in helping determine a person’s risk for heart attack and heart disease-related death, as well as the need for angioplasty or bypass surgery. CAC screening provides a direct measure of calcium deposits in heart arteries and is easily obtained on a computed tomography (CT) scan.

“We showed that by using only the traditional risk factors, we miss a significant percentage of individuals at high risk. We may also be over-treating a large number of people who can safely avoid lifelong treatment,” says lead author Michael G. Silverman, M.D., who formerly worked at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention…

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