The South Bay Heart Watch findings support and confirm the recommendations of the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Consensus Group that selected use of CT scanning can assist in evaluating risk and determining appropriate preventative therapy in these persons.
Coronary artery calcium scans measure the amount of calcium buildup in the arteries of the heart. Calcium is one of many substances found in atherosclerotic plaques. The calcium score correlates with the amount and severity of blockages a person has.
According to the one of the study's authors, Robert C. Detrano, MD, PhD, "The findings are particularly significant because treatment decisions are the hardest to make for patients of middle risk. If a large amount of coronary calcium in such people is found to be an important predictor of future coronary disease, doctors might be able to make faster and more aggressive treatment decisions such as prescribing drugs or lifestyle changes." Dr. Detrano is a principal investigator at the Research and Education Institute and a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Citation: The Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 291, No. 2, January 14, 2004, "Coronary Artery Calcium Score Combined With Framingham Score for Risk Prediction in Asymptomatic Individuals."