Health Tip of the Week, sponsored by Baton Rouge General: Do I need a heart scan to check my calcium score?

A heart scan is a specialized CT scan that looks for calcium deposits in the arteries and gives you a score that can help determine your risk for heart attack or stroke, and the need to start any treatment or medication like statins. Too much buildup of calcium, along with fats and other substances, is called plaque and can narrow the arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart. A calcium score of zero means none was found, and you have a low risk of having a heart attack in the future. But if the scan does detect calcium, the higher the score, the higher your risk of heart disease. Learn more about calcium scores.