ANCHOR LEAD: SHOULD CORONARY CALCIUM SCANS BE USED TO ASSESS WOMENS’ RISK OF HEART DISEASE? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Almost 95% of women are considered to be at low risk for heart disease using traditional risk assessment tools such as the Framingham score. Yet heart disease is the number one killer of postmenopausal women. How can this disparity be rectified? One way may be with coronary calcium scanning. Rick Lange, chief of clinical cardiology at Johns Hopkins, explains.
LANGE: Women who already have intermediate or high risk features, this test really adds nothing, we know that they need to be aggressively monitored and treated. Low risk women may benefit from having their calcium determined. So I’m of the opinion that since it is noninvasive and it is very low risk in terms of the amount of radiation, women who are already determined to be at low risk and have any features at all, that is, a positive family history, or diabetes or sedentary lifestyle, a poor diet, would in fact benefit from having their coronary calcium determined. :29
So if you are a postmenopausal woman with even one risk factor, talk with your doctor about coronary calcium scanning. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.