According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 600,000 people die each year from heart disease. Known as the silent killer, heart disease will kill 1 out of every 4 people in the United States. This statistic is staggering and many people are unaware that the condition can be prevented with proper diet, exercise and vascular scans.
There are three risk factors of heart disease, high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol or smoking. At least 49% of Americans suffer from at least one or more of these risks. With today's technology, vascular scans are used to detect calcium deposits and build up in the heart's coronary arteries. These deposits actually narrow the artery causing the heart to work harder and less efficiently. Eventually these arteries may become blocked causing stroke or heart attacks.
Vascular scans are used as early prevention tools and tell doctors which patients are more at risk for fatal heart disease. They provide physicians with an overall picture of the patient's heart health and can help detect future issues. While any patient may participate in a vascular screening or scan, the typical age ranges from 40 - 70. These vascular scans are meant for those with no known heart issues, but may have a family history of heart disease or issues with diabetes and strokes.
These scans are 100% safe and non-evasive. The tests will scan the thickness of the arteries and provide physicians with a clear picture of the patient's heart health. Vascular scans typically last anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes while lying completely flat on a screening table. The physician or technician may also rub a small amount of gel on the neck to check your carotid artery. These scans do not involve radiation and are extremely effective in early detection of heart issues and heart disease.
At times insurance may cover the vascular scans but in many cases they do not. Test results are sent to the primary physician and the patient is offered a copy of the screening results to view as well. The tests allow physicians to offer patients a personalized screening and provide them with invaluable information regarding the actual condition of the heart.
With heart disease accounting for more deaths than any other disease in the United States, it is not more important than ever to take preventative action and ward off the disease. With a vascular scan patients can find out life saving information that may have otherwise gone undetected. Today's world of instant information is a blessing for many people facing a history of heart disease in the family. If they take the correct preventive measures today, their future can be healthy and risk free.
It is worth remembering that there is lots of support and help online and from your physician. Online resources such as http://www.mayoclinic.com/ which provide information on where to get help and well as message boards where you can discuss what you are going through with people who are experiencing what you are.