RadiologyInfo.org - For Patients

February is American Heart Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is responsible for more than 600,000 deaths in the United States each year.

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease and a major cause of heart attack. It occurs when plaque builds up along the walls of the heart's arteries, causing them to narrow and limit blood flow.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity and lack of exercise can increase your risk of developing coronary artery disease. Age, gender and family history of heart disease also play a role.

Your doctor can screen for heart disease using a variety of tests, including calcium scoring with cardiac CT, which can identify plaque buildup.

If you're at risk for coronary artery disease, talk to your doctor about getting screened.

For more information about cardiac screening, see the following pages:

This page was reviewed on February 01, 2017

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RadiologyInfo.org is not a medical facility. Please contact your physician with specific medical questions or for a referral to a radiologist or other physician. To locate a medical imaging or radiation oncology provider in your community, you can search the ACR-accredited facilities database.

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