What are some benefits of getting a heart scan test?


Quick Answer

The benefits of getting a heart scan test include finding out about heart attack risks to allow for preventative measures or early treatment, and showing changes in the condition of the coronary arteries during treatment programs to know if they are effective, according to Mayo Clinic. The test involves taking a picture of the heart with X-ray technology to show calcium buildup in the coronary arteries.

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Full Answer

Patients with a low heart attack risk or a high heart attack risk benefit less from heart scans than patients in the middle group, maintains Mayo Clinic. Those with a low heart attack risk include patients under 55 who do not smoke, and have normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels. These patients are more likely to experience excessive worry or unnecessary follow-up tests following a heart scan. Patients with a high heart attack risk include those over 65 with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels or who smoke. These patients need to take preventative measures regardless of heart scan results making the test unnecessary.

Heart scans are most useful in patients between the ages of 55 and 65 with borderline high blood pressure or cholesterol, states Mayo Clinic. In these cases, the presence of calcium deposits in the arteries is a clear sign that treatment is needed.

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