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Colonoscopy Could Also Identify Heart Attack Risk

Researchers say Virtual colonoscopy, an imaging tool used to identify colon cancer early, may also be able to detect heart attack risk in patients.//

A virtual colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that tests for colon cancer using 2-D and 3-D imaging without the sedation and higher cost of regular colonoscopies. In a recent study researchers examined the records of 480 patients who received virtual colonoscopy exams between 1995 and 1998.

Results showed a direct link between high aortic calcium scores measured during the procedure and the nine patients who suffered a heart attack after the screening. Researchers say looking at calcification scores during a virtual colonoscopy can help identify patients at risk for developing heart disease. Thus researchers say both men and women older than 50 should be screened for colon cancer.

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