My story is somewhat similar to yours. I’m 76 and thought I was in reasonably good health until my doctor sent me for CAC after seeing cholesterol of 276. It came back at 411, mostly in the LAD. I was horrified. I’m not overweight, and eat a mostly vegan diet. I haven’t been as great with the exercise, but do go to water aerobics and senior exercise classes most days. After a normal nuclear stress test and echocardiogram, the cardiologist put me on 40mg of Crestor. It seems way too high to me (even Crestor web page says don’t take more than 20 mg unless that doesn’t bring down cholesterol), but I am worried enough that maybe I should do what he says. He tells me that statins do more than just bring down cholesterol, but prevent inflammation and keep the soft, non-calcified plaques from clogging arteries. My research tells me that the best diet for preventing and reversing heart disease is that of Caldwell Esselstyn, who has a book, and also guidelines on his web page. This is the diet Bill Clinton followed after his bypass surgery. I’m also following a Facebook group, 100% Esselstyn Reversal Nutrition Forum, which is a large group of people following his way of eating. It makes total sense to me, but extremely hard to follow: whole food plant based with no meat or animal products (including dairy) and no fat or oil of any kind. I feel like this is the diet that I should be on, but I am failing miserably. Please let me know what your specialist recommends.
I should add that my father died of a heart attack at the age of 54, and my cardiologist says I have “familial hypercholesterolemia”.