What does heart scanning mean to you?

CT heart scans can mean different things to different people.

What does a heart scan mean to you? There are several possibilities:

1) A way of reducing uncertainty in your future.

2) A tool to crystallize your commitment to health.

3) A device to help you track how successful your heart disease prevention program is.

4) A trick to get you in the hospital.

5) A moneymaking tool for unscrupulous physicians hoping to profit from "downstream" testing, particularly heart catheterizations.

Like anything, heart scans can be used for both good and evil. How can you be sure that your heart scan is put to proper use--for your benefit and not someone else's profit?

Simple: Get educated. Understand the issues, be armed with informed questions.

If, for instance, you're a 55-year old female with a heart scan score of 90, active without symptoms, and you're told to have a heart catheterization right off the bat---run the other way. This is bad advice. A heart procedure like catheterization at this score in an asymptomatic woman is very rarely necessary. That decision can only be made after a step-by-step series of decisions are made by a truly interested, unbiased party. (A stress test is almost always required in this situation before the decision can be made to proceed with a catheterization.)

Unfortunately, in 2006, getting unbiased advice from your doctor is still a struggle. That's why we started Track Your Plaque---unbiased information, uncolored by drug or device company support, with an interest in the truth.