Based on the results of your test, your doctor will discuss with you whether you have a heart condition that needs treatment, whether you're at risk of developing heart disease, and steps you can take to keep your heart healthy. Treatments may vary, depending on what condition your doctor suspects you have.
Regardless of the results of your test, it's a good idea to make lifestyle changes to help protect your heart. These include:
Jun. 15, 2011
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight and control diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure — all risk factors for heart disease. With your doctor's OK, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Even if you can't make time for one 30- to 60-minute exercise session, you can still benefit from breaking up your activity into several 10-minute sessions.
- Eat healthy foods. A heart-healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains — and low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium — can help you control your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. Eating one or two servings of fish a week also is beneficial.
- Stop smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, especially atherosclerosis. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and forces your heart to work harder, and carbon monoxide reduces oxygen in your blood and damages the lining of your blood vessels. If you smoke, quitting is the best way to reduce your risk of heart disease and its complications.
- Cardiac CT. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/ct/ct_all.html. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Gerber TC, et al. Noninvasive coronary angiography with cardiac computed tomography and cardiovascular magnetic resonance. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Bluemke DA, et al. Noninvasive coronary artery imaging: Magnetic resonance angiography and multidetector computed tomography angiography: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Committee on Cardiovascular Imaging and Intervention of the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, and the Councils on Clinical Cardiology and Cardiovascular Disease in the Young. Circulation. 2008;118:586.
- Gerber TC, et al. Ionizing radiation in cardiac imaging: A science advisory from the American Heart Association Committee on Cardiac Imaging of the Council on Clinical Cardiology and Committee on Cardiovascular Imaging and Intervention of the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention. Circulation. 2009;119:1056.
- Risk factors and coronary heart disease. American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4726. Accessed March 9, 2011.
- Achenbach S, et al. Is CT the better angiogram? Coronary interventions and CT imaging. Journal of the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Imaging. 2010;3:29.
- Taylor AJ, et al. ACCF/SCCT/ACR/AHA/ASE/ASNC/NASCI/SCAI/SCMR 2010 appropriate use criteria for cardiac computed tomography: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, the American College of Radiology, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Echocardiography, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the North American Society for Cardiovascular Imaging, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance. Circulation. 2010;122:525.