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Piedmont Rockdale Now Offers New Heart Disease Screening

Conyers, Ga. (Feb. 4, 2020) – Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of Americans according to the American Heart Association. A 2019 report detailing heart disease and stroke statistics reveals that more than 650,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year, and more than 121.5 million individuals in the country, almost one half of the population, have at least one type of heart disease. In order to increase awareness and promote early detection and education, Piedmont Rockdale Hospital is now offering cardiac computed tomography (CT) for Calcium Scoring screenings.

“Heart disease is prevalent throughout the country including Rockdale and surrounding communities,” said Joseph I. Miller, III, M.D., a cardiologist with Piedmont Heart Institute. “Cardiac scoring helps cardiologists determine a patient’s risk for heart disease, even if they do not currently have symptoms. Early detection can make an enormous difference in treating heart disease.”

Calcium CT scoring is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure that produces pictures of the coronary arteries. The images are examined to determine if the arteries are blocked or narrowed by plaque, indicating atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease.

“Plaque is made up of fat, calcium, and other substances which can build up on the walls of your arteries and narrow or even close the arteries,” said Dr. Miller. “The cardiac scoring screening not only provides pictures of what the arteries look like, but also a statistical estimate of the patient’s likelihood of getting heart disease.”

Based on the amount of calcium build up, each patient is given a score. Typical scores range from zero to over 400. A “zero” calcium score is great news and indicates no evidence of coronary artery disease whereas a score greater than 400 indicates significant plaque which could require a more aggressive treatment plan. Your physician will review your risk results and, if necessary, help you develop a plan to prevent developing heart disease or increasing your risk of a heart attack.

Piedmont Rockdale has a variety of cardiac and preventative health services available to patients in order to help them lower their risk of heart disease and, to continue to lead healthy and active lives after a diagnosis of heart disease. These include general cardiology, interventional cardiology, heart failure clinic, advanced cardiovascular imaging services, electrophysiology, and cardiac rehabilitation.

A doctor’s referral is required for the cardiac scoring screening. Please speak with your primary care physician or cardiologist to learn more about this screening.

For more information on the heart services available at Piedmont Rockdale Hospital, visit www.piedmont.org/heart.

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