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anniehall56 (@anniehall56)

Any women with high CAC scores?

Heart & Blood Health | Last Active: Jan 2 1:41pm | Replies (43)

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I think this is my first posting in this group. I'm a 76 year old woman, former jogger, with a CAC score of 1025. In 2015, after asking my PCP about the advisability of taking baby aspirin because my father had died of a massive heart attack at 57, I wavered about getting the scan he suggested despite his own surprise at having his own score be higher than he would have thought. And he's a marathoner! In January of 2016 I decided to have the scan and the results were shocking to my doctor as well as me and my husband! I've always been the EverReady bunny, plenty of energy and loved to jog – up to 6 miles sometimes. But my results – LM-349;LAD-640;LCx-36;RCA-0;PDA- 0;Other-0 put me right into that ticking time bomb category. I quit running because I was sure I was going to die on a run. Because I was asymptomatic, he didn't feel I needed a cardiologist and he put me on 40mg of atorvastatinand a baby aspirin and ordered an exercise stress test which was unremarkable. After 3 months all my lipid numbers were much better (sorry I don't have the earlier numbers) – Total cholesterol 167, Triglycerides 73, Ratio 2.0, HDL 83 and LDL 69. I had a very healthy diet prior to beginning the statin, so I really have to credit it, not my giving up foods I love.

Two years ago in February (2019) I had an episode of shortness of breath (that turned out to be "Political Anxiety" haha) and after seeing a pulmonologist was sent to a cardiologist who had me do another exercise stress test which was again fine, but he changed my meds to 20 mg of rosuvastatin because I'd complained of some neuropathy in my feet since beginning statins and he felt that would be better for me. When I saw him in November of that year my he changed the strength to 40mg of rosuvastatin because he wanted to get my LDL lower and now my numbers are: Total cholesterol: 154, Triglycerides 82, ratio 1.9, HDL 82 and LDL 58. He's very pleased with where I am and so am I. It has taken me these 5 years to finally believe that I'm going to die in my sleep, because I'm doing all I can to stick to a healthy life style. And I realized that when I read your post: I'm past the serious anxiety I had. We have pasta (with a non-meat sauce) at least twice a week and red meat once or twice a month, which I don't miss all that much, I have to say. I have not given up wine. I try to exercise every day and even power walk around my house for 30 minutes if there's too much snow on the ground or the weather's bad. It's been helpful to read others' posts on the the High Calcium Score thread – so many there with long time high scores who are not just existing, but turning their backs on the test results and just proactively living the healthiest life they can.

I agree that the test can be a blessing and a curse, but I've come to see it as a wake-up call and leave it at that. Mostly I say, believe in the science. Soon your score will just be another number. Personally, I'm glad I had it done because it's made me aware of and in charge of my own health in a way that my Dad never was, and I've lived to see 4 grandchildren born, which he sadly was never able to do. Sorry I've gone on about this, but I know at this point you're happy to read good news!

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Thanks so much for this post! Wishing I will get to the point where I can turn my back on this damned CAC score. Your post was so positive and I really need this right now! I blame the political anxiety in the last four years for a lot of this LOL! My dad also died of a massive heart attack after just turning 58 and you're right that we have so many medical advances that were not available to him. I plan to keep educating myself and doing what I'm doing (also not giving up red wine) and hope to be one of the lucky ones who beat this thing.