First Calcium Heart Scan - 50 Years Old and Frightened!

Posted by marksr @marksr, May 23 10:19am

I took my first calcium heart scan at 40 and it was zero. Now almost 51 , I just retook and it is 444 with 363 in my LAD. I immediately quit all the bad stuff like drinking and poor diet. I am anxious and super scared I can have an issue any minute!!! Any thoughts?

Hi @marksr and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Because members of Connect are not medical professionals we can’t diagnose medical conditions. But we can use our experiences and rely on valuable insights to help answer questions, offer encouragement and suggestions.

There’s nothing like a wake-up call when receiving results of the calcium score test. Your numbers are elevated from your first test 11 years ago. However there are other factors used to determine if there is a significant problem. Has your doctor discussed the findings of the CT scan with you? Have you also had a lipid panel run to check your cholesterol and triglyceride numbers? Do you currently take any statin medications?

While it’s frightening to see numbers you weren’t expecting, it’s no reason to live in fear. Knowledge is power. Talk with your primary care physician to get the professional answers and guidance you need. Heart disease can be prevented. You’re already taking steps to improving your health by changing your diet and limiting alcohol. Do you exercise daily?

I’m posting a link to Mayo Clinic’s strategies for preventing heart disease.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-disease-prevention/art-20046502

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From my perspective you do not have a problem. You do have a great opportunity and you have already started down the path by changing some of your behavior. And while I subscribe to the concept of "if you are keeping score you must know the numbers", in the end individual numbers are far to simplistic to represent the complexity of the system known as the human body. I had terrible numbers with respect to my condition and had done all the right things prior to diagnosis. And yet I am here this morning spouting off my mouth to a complete stranger. Let go of the fear and take control. It is one of the things you can do.
Best always,
s!
Scott Jensen

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I have a calcium score of almost 5000!! I’m 78, I “look great”!” ( I’m told) for my age , WAS told by my doctor that have a “healthy” heart before calcium score was diagnosed via an aborted CAT angio and have just had four stents put in two arteries. Go figure!! A second evaluation of all my tests is in order, no?

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@papadukes

I have a calcium score of almost 5000!! I’m 78, I “look great”!” ( I’m told) for my age , WAS told by my doctor that have a “healthy” heart before calcium score was diagnosed via an aborted CAT angio and have just had four stents put in two arteries. Go figure!! A second evaluation of all my tests is in order, no?

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Hi @papadukes, welcome to Connect. I can imagine that you were shocked to get the calcium score result. I'm inviting fellow members @mayofeb2020 @tim1028 @ch246cf10 @pcspetpro @tennisplayer @predictable @thankful into this discussion to offer there thoughts and experiences.

You may also be interested in this related discussion:
– I have a very high calcium score. What next? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/very-high-calcium-score/

Papadukes, how is your recovery from the stent placement?

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Hello,
I too had a false high calcium. The calcium identified in the heart saver CT was actually in the wall of my arteries, not actually in them. More testing will determine your outcome.

Bruce S.
Texas

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@colleenyoung

Hi @papadukes, welcome to Connect. I can imagine that you were shocked to get the calcium score result. I'm inviting fellow members @mayofeb2020 @tim1028 @ch246cf10 @pcspetpro @tennisplayer @predictable @thankful into this discussion to offer there thoughts and experiences.

You may also be interested in this related discussion:
– I have a very high calcium score. What next? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/very-high-calcium-score/

Papadukes, how is your recovery from the stent placement?

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Fine. Thanks for asking.
I have always lived a fairly healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly if not daily and feel pretty god, for 78.
What bothers me is , after having the stent procedures just recently I don’t have another meeting with my cardiologist ( w

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Sorry. Reply went off early. To continue..
( with blood work until Sept/October !! Perhaps he is giving a new statin and blood thinner’s a chance to second “work”
As I wrote in my original post, a second opinion, given my extremely high calcium score, seems in order NOW! ( I am looking now)

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@papadukes

Sorry. Reply went off early. To continue..
( with blood work until Sept/October !! Perhaps he is giving a new statin and blood thinner’s a chance to second “work”
As I wrote in my original post, a second opinion, given my extremely high calcium score, seems in order NOW! ( I am looking now)

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Papadukes, here's the contact information for Mayo Clinic if you're considering a second opinion at Mayo http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63

It does seem like a long time to wait without an explanation why.

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@papadukes

I have a calcium score of almost 5000!! I’m 78, I “look great”!” ( I’m told) for my age , WAS told by my doctor that have a “healthy” heart before calcium score was diagnosed via an aborted CAT angio and have just had four stents put in two arteries. Go figure!! A second evaluation of all my tests is in order, no?

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Did they tell you what percentage of the artery was blocked? Did you have any symptoms?

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@ch246cf10

Hello,
I too had a false high calcium. The calcium identified in the heart saver CT was actually in the wall of my arteries, not actually in them. More testing will determine your outcome.

Bruce S.
Texas

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How did you find out that the calcium was in the artery walls?

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