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Memorial Healthcare System Aims to Educate Public on the Importance of Calcium Scoring for Heart Health

One in every four deaths among American adults is caused by heart disease and experts at the Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute in Hollywood want people to know the importance of knowing how healthy their heart is. The quickest and most straightforward way to get a detailed look inside the health of a heart is with a specialized heart scan known as a coronary calcium scoring CT scan. The non-invasive procedure takes a series of X-ray images of the heart, looking for plaque inside the arteries. This process provides a convenient option for many patients to determine their risk of serious problems.

Scans are beneficial for people who don’t necessarily have any heart-related symptoms but may be at increased risk for heart disease or other conditions. The higher the score, the more likely it is that arteries carrying blood could become blocked. 

“That knowledge is something that will change the management of the patient both from the patient’s perspective and the physician’s perspective,” Wayne Pollak, MD (pictured), a cardiologist at Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute.

The scan looks in the heart’s arteries for plaque, made up of materials like cholesterol, fats and calcium. Once the plaque is present, it can begin building up over time. This narrows the size of the artery’s opening and restricts blood flow. Restricted blood flow to the heart can cause blockages that put a patient at greater risk of severe issues, including heart disease or a heart attack.

In addition to restricting blood flow, plaque deposits can break open and form a clot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These clots can cause heart attacks, affecting more than 800,000 Americans yearly.

Getting a calcium score detects these plaque buildups early before they worsen. The earlier these buildups are detected, the sooner doctors can prescribe medications or suggest lifestyle changes that may decrease the risk of heart problems.

Scans are most useful for those with an increased risk of heart disease or diabetes but involve radiation and require a prescription. Factors considered in determining risk include a family history of heart disease, age, diabetes, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and lifestyle habits.

To learn more or make an appointment with Memorial, visit https://www.mhs.net/services/cardiac-vascular/services/heart-scan or call 954-276-5500.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.