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June 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Donít be a Diving Heart Attack Victim

from the June, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

A high percentage of diver deaths are due to a heart attack suffered under the stress of diving and often the deceased divers his unaware that he or she had heart disease. After writing reading about medical tests in Undercurrent in the last issue, Bruce R Hoyle MD (Newport Beach, CA) wrote to say that an EKG/checkup is not good enough and reiterated the importance of a CT heart scan and coronary calcium score for divers.

A coronary calcium scan is a CT scan of your heart that detects a buildup of calcium in the walls of your coronary arteries, a sign of atherosclerosis, coronary heart or micro vascular disease.

Cardiac computed tomography (CT) for calcium scoring produce pictures of the coronary arteries to determine if they are blocked or narrowed by plaque -- an indicator for atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease (CAD). The information obtained can help evaluate whether you are at increased risk for heart attack.

Myocardial perfusion scanning uses a small amount of radioactive substance to create imagers which show blood flow to the heart muscle and a coronary angiogram is used to locate the exact position and severity of any narrowing or blockage.

If you are aging, overweight, or have been out of the water for a while, don't become an unwitting statistic. See your cardiologist.

(Source: radiologyinfo.org/kingstonhospital.nhs.uk)

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