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Coronary Calcium Scan

Results

After you have the test, talk with your doctor about your results.

Your test result is a number that is your calcium score. The score can range from 0 to more than 400. Any score over 100 means that you are likely to have heart disease. The higher your score, the greater your chance of having a heart attack.

People who score between 100 and 400 or higher, and who are at medium risk for heart disease, are more likely to have a heart attack in the next 3 to 5 years than people who score 0.2

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Having a fast heart rate.
  • Smoking.
  • Caffeine use.

What To Think About

  • Coronary calcium scans are not needed very often, because a physical exam and other tests can give information about your heart. This test is not advised for routine screening for coronary artery disease.1
  • If your coronary calcium scan shows that you have a high chance of having heart disease, you can take steps to lower your chance. Eat better, stay at a healthy weight, quit smoking, and get more exercise. These are the same steps your doctor would recommend after looking at your health history, your physical health, and any lab tests, such as a cholesterol test. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about your treatment choices.
  • Coronary calcium scans may not be covered by all health insurance plans.
  • Coronary calcium scans may not be available in some areas of the United States, such as in small towns.
  • Sometimes doctors automatically schedule routine tests because they think that's what patients expect. But experts say that routine heart tests can be a waste of time and money. To learn more, see Heart Tests: When Do You Need Them?

Related Information

  • Heart Disease Risk: Should I Have a Coronary Calcium Scan?

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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