June 1, 2010 – St. Petersburg, FL – Northside Hospital & Tampa Bay Heart Institute now offers calcium scoring tests as a part of the SHAPE/Heart Health Certified Center of Excellence heart attack prevention and early detection program. These tests are used in an effort to reduce heart attacks and sudden cardiac death.

Calcium scoring is a noninvasive, painless, five-minute heart test to check for the presence of calcium in the coronary arteries (early stage coronary artery disease) before a person develops symptoms of heart disease. The test is delivered using our 64 slice CT scanner, and will allow doctors to identify the disease in its earliest stages, prevent this deadly condition from worsening, and reduce life threatening events.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, with heart attacks accounting for over 500,000 deaths per year.

The program will identify people who are asymptomatic and unaware that they are at risk for heart disease. Despite access to the best cardiac care, undiagnosed heart problems account for 52% of heart attacks deaths, such as that of late newscaster Tim Russert.

“This is an important heart attack prevention tool for our community” said Stephen J. Daugherty, President and CEO of Northside Hospital.  “This program will provide the St. Petersburg area with superior detection mechanisms for undiagnosed cardiac disease, thereby reducing the number of heart attacks, and heart attack related deaths in our community each year.”

To learn more about the calcium scoring program at Northside Hospital & Tampa Bay Heart Institute, please visit www.NorthsideHospital.com.