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After playing professional soccer for 11 years, Gino Schiraldi, former Kansas City Comets goalie, thought he was in great shape.
Schiraldi avoided doctors like the plague and generally didn't think a whole lot about his health until, at 43, he started to experience fatigue and chest pain. A visit to his doctor and a stress test failed to turn up any problems.
"My doctor said I was strong as a bull, but I wasn't feeling well," Schiraldi said. "I knew something was up, but I didn't show the signs of a person who had a heart condition."
That's when Schiraldi took matters into his own hands. He paid to have a heart scan at BodyScan Imaging Center in Kansas City.
The results were sobering. The electron beam tomography (EBT) scan showed eight arterial blockages. Schiraldi went back to his doctor, who requested further invasive testing. Those results confirmed the findings of the heart scan, and Schiraldi underwent bypass surgery a week later.
"I was a walking time bomb," he said. "I was shocked.".
Stories like Schiraldi's are giving a boost to a rapidly growing, consumer-driven health care industry in which individuals initiate and pay for myriad health assessments ranging from cholesterol …