Navigation Links
Calcium Scans Help Predict Coronary Risk
Date:3/26/2008

But the cost of such tests is a potential stumbling block, experts say

WEDNESDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Scanning the heart arteries for calcium deposits can help predict future cardiac problems, a new study shows, but experts aren't sure that adding such scans to routine checkups would be worth the cost.

"It has been shown to be predictive" of potential heart trouble, said Dr. Diane Bild, deputy director of the division of prevention and population sciences at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which funded the study. "Whether it is actually beneficial to the people who are screened has not been shown."

A calcium scan using computed tomography (CT) costs $300 to $600. These scans look for calcification -- hardening of the arteries caused by high blood fats and calcium deposits that can eventually cause blood vessel blockage. The scan is a potential competitor for much less expensive tests for coronary risk, such as blood cholesterol and blood pressure readings.

The new study involved more than 6,700 American men and women across a number of racial and ethnic groups -- white, black, Chinese, Hispanic -- who were followed for an average of 3.8 years. It found that the risk of a coronary event was nearly 10 times higher for those with the highest calcium deposit scores than for those with the lowest.

"This study was launched in 1999, a time when there was a lot of interest in whether this new test could predict coronary artery disease," Bild said. "A lot of studies have been done in predominantly white populations. This was one of our efforts to include minority groups."

The study does show that calcium scanning "modestly improves predictions over traditional risk factors," she said. "Several pieces of information are needed in order to understand whether this is clinically useful."

The findings are published in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The cost of such scans could be reduced, according to a statement from study lead author Dr. Robert Detrano, professor of radiological sciences at the University of California, Irvine, who is traveling in China. Scans have been done for just $30 in China, Detrano noted.

"It is mostly an issue of cost," said Dr. William S. Weintraub, chief of cardiology at the Christiana Health Care System, the largest health-care system in Delaware, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal. "It does add to our discrimination, but it costs a couple of hundred dollars and we're not sure how you use it."

Reducing the cost would make the test more usable, and "more epidemiological studies showing its value in risk prediction would be of great value," Weintraub said.

"But I'd be uncomfortable now with the idea of recommending this for everybody, or even defining a middle ground where we are unsure how we treat people so they get this first," he said.

A calcium scan also carries some risk, since it exposes a person to radiation, Bild noted. "It would be worth it if the benefit outweighed that risk," she said. "We don't clearly have both sides of that equation established."

More information

For more on coronary calcium scans, visit the U.S. Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.



SOURCES: Diane Bild, M.D., deputy director, U.S. Heart, Lung and Blood Institute division of prevention and population sciences, Bethesda, Md.; William S. Weintraub, M.D., director of cardiology, Christiana Health Care System, Newark, Dela.; March 27, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. High Calcium Intake May Not Help Prevent Fractures, Reports The Harvard Health Letter
2. Scripps scientists find calcium channel blockers help normalize lysosomal storage disease cells
3. Calcium Supplements Could Raise Heart Risks in Postmenopausal Women
4. Coronary Artery Calcium May Raise Womens Heart Risk
5. International study strengthens case for daily calcium pill
6. Daily Calcium Does Protect Bone
7. Full-Body Scans May Help the Highly Cancer-Prone
8. Scans spot hidden tumors in rare cancer syndrome
9. SCAI Applauds CMS Decision to Continue Coverage of Cardiac CT Scans
10. Brain Scans Let Computer Read Visual Activity
11. PET Scans Best for Measuring Response to Sarcoma Treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of ... of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even ... progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon ... beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) sponsors Luke’s Wings ... 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. ... service members that have been wounded in battle and their families. Venture Construction Group ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... According to a new market ... Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, ... of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts ... market for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. ... by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016  MedSource ... platform as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  ... the best possible value to their clients by ... nowEDC.  The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the ... pricing for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... startling report released today, National Safety Council research shows ... plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a "Making ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... states, three – Michigan , Missouri ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: