IU Health North and Saxony hospitals are offering $49 out-of-pocket heart scans. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Approximately 1.2 million Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The heart scans are a very quick exam with same-day preliminary results.
The exams began being offered at this lower price last month in conjunction with Go Red for Women month to raise awareness about women’s heart health.
“We are happy to provide such an important service for minimal cost, especially during such an important month that raises overall awareness of heart health” said Dianna Cobb, RN, BSN, manager, Cath Lab/Interventional Radiology at IU Health North and Saxony Hospitals.
While these scans are not for those who have already been diagnosed with heart disease, the scans can act as a good first assessment for those looking to assess their current heart health.
“We want to do these scans on people with no known heart disease, because it’s an easy way to assess the risk. Once we have the number, we can risk stratify the patient and move forward from there,” said Dr. Woodrow Corey, medical director of Cardiovascular Services at IU Health North Hospital.
The scan is a quick and easy procedure that determines a patient’s calcium score by detecting how much calcium build-up exists along the coronary circulation. Calcium scores range from under 100 for those with little calcium build-up to more than 400 for those most at risk for future heart problems.
“The test is best for people between 35 and 65 years of age; however, there are always exceptions to every rule,” Corey said. “We see people who smoke or people who are diabetic or people who are overweight. They can develop coronary disease much earlier so it would be acceptable for them to come in even earlier.”
While the test is a good first step at checking one’s heart health, it is by no means a single determining factor in determining whether a patient has a blockage or other heart problems. Those patients with a score of 400 and above will want to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist for further testing and analysis.
“Sometimes, the best thing you can do is talk to a doctor face to face,” Corey said.
Appointments can be made by calling IU Health North Hospital at 688-2955. Visit www.iuhealth.org/north/cardio/heart-screenings for more information.