Feb 24, 2010 5:00 PM by Veronica White

The Silent Killer- Heart Disease

"The Silent Killer"-- heart disease-- kills more than 910,000 Americans annually, according to the American Heart Association.

Getting a certain type of CT scan is key for those at risk. A heart saver score, commonly known as a calcium score, can save lives.

"It's basically a measurement of the calcium within the coronary vessels-- it gives us added information as to what type of risk this patient has," says Dr. Esmond Barker from Heart Hospital.

He says this test is key for patients who are at risk, but do not show symptoms of heart disease, because seeing tangible evidence that the arteries are blocked motivates patients to act.

"They'll get on a diet and exercise and whatever measures their physician wants to add, including medicine," says Dr. Barker.

As patient Norman Bergeron found, seeing with his own eyes made all the difference, because he thought he was fine.

"I never thought I had blockage or anything because I didn't feel like I had blockage," says Bergeron.

He found out he had 4 blockages, which led to 4 life-saving bypass surgeries.

Those at risk --due to factors such as hypertension or diabetes-- should get this scan done every 2 years.

Learn more about the heart saver test and qualify for a discounted heartscore voucher at HeartFest this Saturday at the Mall of Acadiana starting at 10:30am.

For details visit



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