Although the statistics for deaths from heart disease have been dropping in recent years (they hit their lowest rate ever in 2006, down 5.5 percent from 2005), it is still the number one cause of death in the United States. In order to keep your heart strong you need to continue preventive testing.
The Calcium Scoring Heart Test is one way that your doctor might recommend to keep an eye on your ticker. This painless, noninvasive test takes around three minutes to perform and uses advanced imaging technology (a CT scan that produces a 3-D image of the heart) to detect the amount of plaque in an individual’s coronary arteries. This test helps doctors evaluate a patient’s risk for heart attack and, in turn, enables them to prescribe a treatment plan that can help slow coronary disease through lifestyle changes and/or medication.
The cost of this potentially life-saving test (which often is not covered by health insurance plans) can range from $125 to $200 at most medical facilities. Through May 31, however, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital is offering the Calcium Scoring test at a discounted rate of $75. The hospital initially offered the discounted test in February in honor of Heart Month; the low rate was extended due to overwhelming community interest in the test.
If you have a physician’s prescription for a Calcium Scoring test, call St. Luke’s at 845-458-4000 to make an appointment before the end of the month.