Hearing that someone dies of a sudden heart attack is enough to jolt many out of a relaxed bearing towards their health. But what next? How can you find out if you are at risk AND how much?
Enter Coronary CT angiography (CCTA); performed with an advanced CT scanner. The study can predict major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with stable chest pain.
It does this by detecting what we call high-risk plaque. That's a cheesy looking substance that is laid down on the walls of arteries (mostly but not always) from an unhealthy diet.
People with stable chest pain and high-risk plaque on CCTA were about three times as likely to have a major heart issue compared to those who didn't have high-risk plaques.
It is worth considering getting a CCTA study in someone with stable chest pain and risk factors for heart disease.