Human beings have been obsessed with death for as long as we’ve been around. In the distant past ancients Egyptians and Vikings used to glamorize burials by mummifying the dead and burying them with pets and treasures, or dressing them in metaphors and symbolism by having them burn on water and praising their sacrifice if they happened to die in battle.
There are many legendary psychopaths who killed young women simply because they made for more beautiful death tableaus, and there are still modern day people who cite fear of dying as a phobia because they are afraid of the unknown.
Countless religions try to offer hope that there is some kind of life after death, but truth is, no one can prove anything and very little is known about the inevitable fate that every living organism eventually suffers.
But a new study says that a certain calcium heart scan may at least inform you of when to expect your demise. The findings were published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, and describe a scan which looks at the calcium deposits found in your major arteries in order to inform doctors about how much longer you should expect to live.
The test itself is known as a coronary calcium scan. It’s performed using a normal CT scan that Leslee Shaw, lead author and professor of cardiology over at Emory University (Atlanta), said helps doctors detect calcium deposits inside the three (3) major arteries responsible for carrying blood away from, the heart.
The lead author went on to reveal some good news, informing that “If you had no calcium or very small amounts, we were able to track over a very long time that you actually had a very outstanding survival”.
However, if you happen to carry large amounts of calcium in your arteries, chances are you are also carrying an early death risk, no less than six (6) times bigger than that of people with no calcium deposits.
Calcium deposits show up in the blood when plaques start to form along an artery’s wall. Plaques cause arteries to become narrower and aid in the development of heart disease because the organ has to work harder in order to pump blood all throughout the body.
When plaques burst, they often form blood clots on their surface. This blocks the blood flow and thus causes heart attacks. If these clots get free, they move towards the brain and end up causing a stroke. In an attempt to prevent these potentially lethal experiences, the body forms calcium deposits around plaques, as well as over them, in order to harden them and make it more difficult for them to burst.
For their study, Professor Shaw and his team looked at roughly 10.000 patients, over the course of 15 years. During the course of the study 936 of the patients died.
The tests results showed that the more calcium deposits someone had in their arteries, the bigger their risk of premature death was. It’s important to note that even small amounts of calcium deposits are dangerous as they increase the risk of premature death by 68 percent (68%) when compared to people with no calcium deposits.
People with very large amounts of calcium deposits had an increase risk of premature death that was six (6) times bigger than that of people with no calcium deposits.
Dr. William Zoghbi, head of cardiovascular imaging over at the Houston Methodist Hospital, gave a statement of his own, sharing that coronary calcium scans are currently being used by medical professionals in order to try and figure what the best treatment is when it comes to patients who have high cholesterol levels but have yet to show any heart symptoms. Patients with a family history of heart issues also benefit from this approach.
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