Check Up 13: Heart scans

Check Up 13: Heart scans
Check Up 13: Heart scans
Check Up 13: Heart scans

There's a test that may the be the wake-up call about your heart health.

If you have heart disease risk factors, you may want to consider getting a heart scan. The low dose test measures the calcium in your heart's arteries. It can help detect issues that may exist without symptoms.

"For a lot of patients, their first cardiac event is sudden death or a heart attack and they don't have any warning signs," said St. Vincent Cardiologist Michael Ball. "So if you have risk factors and you have a lot of heart disease or your calcium score is very high then further evaluating them can basically save your life."

Dale Burkhardt of Zionsville has a family history of heart disease and multiple risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and his weight. Wednesday, he allowed Eyewitness News to to along as he had the test and awaited the results. The test took two minutes to complete and revealed he had "moderate plaque burden and moderate heart disease is likely."

"This is evidence and this gives patients motivation to get their risk factors under control," said Dr. Michael Ball, a St. Vincent Cardiologist.

"Because of my family history, I'm not very surprised," the 64-year-old said. "I was wishing it was better than this, frankly, but I think the reality is very necessary."

If you are 40 or older and have at least one of these risk factors, you qualify for the Checkup 13 St Vincent Heart Scan this month.

It is $49 at these Central Indiana locations:

You must not have had a heart scan within the last five years. Call the hotline at 1-866-U-CHECK-13 (824-3251) to register. You can also register online at until midnight Wednesday.