I pride myself on doing my best to practice self care….which as a multi-tasking mom is not always the easiest thing to do.

I take vitamins and exercise and get my checkups religiously, including seeing a holistic-minded MD.  He’s one of my primary go-to guys in the health arena, and I can’t say enough about Dr. Fred Pescatore

A number of years ago he sent me for a heart scan since I have heart disease in the family.  Who doesn’t?!  It was a preventative measure, and gave me immense peace of mind to know I was okay at the time.  Fast forward….I’m now 52…..and decided I wanted to check in again about it….since this summer was a particularly challenging one on the health front, and I still don’t feel quite like myself….I’m guessing due to peri-menopause….but want to keep my heart healthy despite raging hormones.

That said, I once again paid a visit to Inner Imaging in NYC.  The staff is lovely, and it’s something I think everyone should do.  Your family will thank you.  As the founder of Motherhood Later….than Sooner, I can tell you that later in life mothers and fathers are some of the most grateful people I know.  Chances are their road to parenthood was a challenging one, for any number of reasons, and therefore they truly want to be around for their kids as long as possible.

Most women I know get an annual mammogram, but did you know that the leading killer of women in the U.S. is heart disease?  And, it kills more women than all cancers combined, yet most research is done on men.  8,000,000 American women have heart disease.  435,000 American women have heart attacks each year.  267,000 die from them, six times more than breast cancer.  Women are twice as likely as men to die after bypass surgery and within the following few weeks after a heart attack.  These are truly frightening stats!

So, why would you not want to invest in a scan that is a proven indicator of detecting heart disease early (long before symptoms occur)?  Though not covered at this point by insurance, the cost is not prohibitive, and the results could prolong your life…..or give you peace of mind if you’re not currently at risk.  It is recommended that women start at age 40, and have a scan every five years.  For men, age 35 is advised.

Called EBT….Heart Scanning with Electronic Beam Tomography (an FDA approved science), it detects coronary artery disease (plaque) as much as 15 years before symptoms occur with an accuracy of about 98-99%.  The Saint Francis Heart Study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, July 2005, establishes the prognostic accuracy of EBT to greatly out-weigh that of the Framingham risk factor analysis.

I spent considerable time with the uber-knowledgeable Albert Barrette, Managing Director Corporate Development, Inner Imaging, and while I was grateful to learn that the preliminary results of my heart scan showed I was not at risk, I left feeling shaken up about how most of us rely on standard tests like EKGs, Echos, Stress Tests (which detect advanced disease), blood work, etc….and it’s not telling the whole story.  In fact, the majority of heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels, and 56% of patients who have normal thallium stress test results can still have significant coronary artery disease.  Some doctors either don’t know about the availability of an EBT heart scan or have chosen not to recommend it because they practice conventional medicine, even with it’s cardiac shortcomings.

It’s up to us to be our own patient advocate, as our children yank at our heartstrings, so we can be in prime cardiac condition, and if we’re not, be armed with that information, as upsetting and surprising as it might be, and consult a cardiologist so we can embark on a plan, whether medication, supplements, diet, exercise, or a combination. 

The scan takes all of 10 minutes.  I took my bra off and jewelry….otherwise remained fully clothed (you leave your shirt on).  Laid down on a comfortable table, was given instructions re: holding my breath, and it was over in the blink of an eye.  Reminded me a bit of an open MRI, but no loud noise or claustrophobic feeling.  I got the preliminary results immediately and the final, official results within three business days (all was still ok).  I plan to have my husband get one, and I’ll be back in five years. I was nervous, but felt strongly that I’d rather know where I stand than to walk around presuming good heart health and to potentially be a ticking time bomb.  The only ticking time bomb I want to be is if I’m playing a game like that with my son….and I’d like as many years as possible with him chasing me around.

They offer other scans as well….including full body and lung.  And, they do more advanced heart scans if warranted, based on the findings of the first scan.

Inner Imaging is the only center in NY that provides EBT Technology, and is recommended and recognized by the American Heart Association as the most sensitive non-invasive test proven to assess your true risk of future heart attack. It is based on 23 years of research, and is not the same as a Cat Scan.  If you live outside NY, there are other facilities that offer EBT….about 50 currently exist in the U.S.  Check out this video.

DISCOUNT FOR MOTHERHOOD LATER — FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS OFFER.  Mention Motherhood Later, and save 10% on the scan of your choice.  Phone 212/991-5445 or visit They are located at 307 East 63 Street, NY NY  10021.  Ask for Beth Miller.  They are open six days/week.