This medical video looks at the new technology being used to detect heart attacks earlier.
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Jennifer Matthews: Climbing mountains, racing classic cars, speeding across the desert. Alan Travis lives an adventurous life. This 50-year old thought he was doing everything he could to stay healthy. Alan Travis: I even make things that aren't adventurous and do adventures. Jennifer Matthews: Alan was just days away from competing in a race when he had his heart looked at with this new, 64-slice calcium CT scanner. Alan Travis: I found out that I had two 100% blocked aortas and another one at 75% blocked. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor say Alan would have died during the race. Instead, his race was to the hospital for a triple by-pass. Cardiologist John Sutherland was the first to see Alan's scan. In just 15 seconds, the scanner showed Alan had too much calcium in his arteries. Calcium is the first indicator of how much plaque is in the heart's arteries. The more plaque, the greater the risk for a heart attack. John Sutherland: This is the origin of the original phrase, old-fashioned phrase, hardening of the arteries. Jennifer Matthews: If you can detect the plaque, you can stop major heart problems before they happen. John Sutherland: The scanner will certainly pick up plaque before you have any symptoms. Jennifer Matthews: Deborah Vance didn't have any symptoms, but she did have the scan. The scan put Deborah's fears to rest and enabled Alan to move on to a new adventure. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.