Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Calcium Scores, A Simple Screening Test for Heart Disease

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on September 24, 2009 ][ In Medical and Health Information ]

Today we will have a brief interview with cardiologist Dr. Barry Tedder about calcium scores. Heart disease is the number one cause of death with 1,655,767 deaths in the United States since Jan. 1, 2008. A calcium score is a screening test for heart disease much like the ones for cancer. Many people will die with their first heart attack but have no warning signs.

What exactly is a calcium score? A calcium score is a CT scan that measures the amount of calcium in the heart arteries. It is a useful screening test to help doctors determine if a person has any coronary disease or blockage. This test can predict a patient’s future risk of having a heart attack. Heart blockage consists of hard (calcium) and soft plaque build up.

Who should have a calcium score? Anyone who already has at least 2 other risk factors for heart disease which are: high blood pressure, smoking, family history, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. Based on SHAPE guidelines, any man over 45 and women over 55 should have a calcium score. Shape stands for the National Screening for Heart Attack Prevention and Education Program.

What is the purpose of this test? Calcium scores are a useful tool to determine whether your doctor should prescribe medication for prevention of future heart disease or perform other tests.

What is a normal score? Abnormal? A normal score is O, which means the patient has a low risk of having a heart attack in the next 5 years. A score over 400 means the patient has a substantial risk for having a heart attack in the next five years. A stress test is recommended for scores over 400.

What does this test involve? This is a simple test which only takes a few minutes. The patient lays on a CT scan table, wearing clothes and no medication is necessary.

What is the cost? Depending on where you live, it can cost from $75 to $200 and is not covered by insurance at this time. In Texas, insurance does cover the cost due to recent legislation.

How can I schedule one? You can call your local cardiologist’s office or speak to your family physician.

For more information, you can go to the shapesociety.org. This website is pretty technical but they also have video information that is easier to understand on youtube.com/shapesociety. Please discuss any concerns you have with your family physician as they will be happy to refer you to a cardiologist if your symptoms warrant further investigation. Please don’t ignore your heart health!

Upadated on September 24, 2009


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