Who should have a screening for heart calcium?

 

In general, if you're a man over 30 or a woman over 40—or if you have any of the following risk factors—you should schedule a scoring:
 

  • Abnormally high blood cholesterol levels

  • A family history of heart disease

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Cigarette smoking

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Being physically inactive

If you're currently experiencing symptoms or receiving care for heart disease, talk to your doctor before scheduling this appointment.

How is heart calcium scoring performed?

 

A special, high-speed CT scanner is used to measure calcium on the arteries. It's pain-free, non-invasive, and takes just 15 minutes. The scan detects the areas and density of the calcium on the arteries and establishes a calcium score. The score may range from zero, which is normal, to several hundred or more.

What do I do next? Do I need a doctor's referral?

 

Before scheduling your scan, please call your health care provider for an order. If you are currently experiencing symptoms or are receiving care for heart disease, talk to your provider to determine if heart calcium scoring is appropriate for you.