Computed tomography (CT) scans are used to screen for possible lung cancer, but they can also be used to assess patients’ risk of heart disease, recent evidence shows. Doctors can use images of a patient’s chest region to look for calcium deposits in the blood vessels that supply the heart. Heavier deposits are associated with greater heart disease risk. A study of over 1,500 people who had undergone lung cancer screening found that a simple visual inspection of their CT scan images for calcium deposits was as successful in identifying their relative heart disease risk as the current 'gold standard' heart disease risk analysis. These findings are particularly relevant because people at high risk of lung cancer (ie, older people with a history of heavy smoking) are also more likely to have heart disease.