Hearts of candy and chocolate, or glued with lace and construction paper – we see them everywhere at this time of year. Which is why February is also Heart Health Month; it’s a way to remind us that in our country, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men AND women – in fact, heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined. This article is a great reminder to take care of our REAL hearts.

Freestylin'

Thirty-four years ago this week, my Dad died suddenly from a heart attack, just days before his 38th birthday.

So when February rolls around and I dig into my personal bag of chocolate hearts, I can’t help but think about the other hearts – our real, beating, fragile hearts.

In my early thirties, I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, a condition common in women that causes random heart palpitations – a feeling that my heart is fluttering in my chest. The occasional skipped beat is a constant reminder that my heart is still pumping, but it also makes me paranoid about the possibility that it could stop at a moment’s notice.

It’s that paranoia that made my ears perk up when my physician told me about a relatively new test to check the health of my heart. It’s called coronary artery calcium scoring, a simple, non-invasive screening…

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