High Calcium Score

Posted by mcphee @mcphee, Dec 14, 2016

I have a calcium score of 1,950 which is extremely high which means I am at a very high risk for a cardiac event,heart attack,stroke or sudden death.
I take a statin and baby aspirin.
I have never been sick,have excellent cholesterol,low blood pressure and I am not overweight.
I have no other health problems and I have never been sick.
But I feel like a walking time bomb which has caused me a lot of stress.
I wonder how others with this condition feel emotionally?
I am 70 yrs old.

Liked by sgarelick

Many of you have crossed paths with @thankful in the Heart & Blood Health group and elsewhere on Connect. Check out today's member spotlight and learn a bit more about Jim.

– Fly Fishing, Gardening and the Northwest: Meet @thankful https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/newsfeed/fly-fishing-gardening-and-the-northwest-meet-thankful/

Follow the About Connect page to read all the Member Spotlights: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/

Liked by thankful

My thoughts from both sides of the gurney….. Modern cardiology does NOT understand the extraordinarily high CAC levels we have. Neither do we, but as the owners of vessels turning to stone, we think about it a lot, fret about it, and are driven to do something about it. I've also wondered about the Vitamin D hypothesis. It has become very fashionable in the last decade to take historically large quantities of Vit D supplements to get serum levels between 70 and 100 (up from 30ish). The Vit D prophets proclaim myriad health benefits to that approach and there are some studies that support those claims. But, BUT, what if there are inflammatory states, or bacterial biofilms in cardiac vasculature that induce calcification IN THE PRESENCE OF HIGH LEVELS OF VIT D??? No one knows, but it's not a silly hypothesis. I'm one of those guys who has been doing a lot of supplements over the years….. hell, over the decades since my meeting with Linus Pauling when I was in med school at Stanford a very long time ago. I no longer have any real attachment to beliefs that all that stuff is helping me and in my increasing skepticism about EVERYTHING, I have to wonder….. So, I have stopped taking 5-10K U of Vit D daily and am only taking smaller amounts found in a multivit. Then there's chelation. The TACT study showed decreased vascular disease following a series of intravenous EDTA treatments. So, calcium is good in that it stabilizes atheroma, but up to a point? Who knows. And who knows where our calcium is deposited. It seems to me that it makes a big difference whether it's inside the vessel wall or in the middle layer of the artery. Or even perhaps the outer layer? Modern cardiology assumes that coronary calcium is in dangerous atheroma and is basically a marker for the presence of those lesions that can lead to a heart attack. But what happens when there's so much calcium that fragile atheromas turn to rigid caking in the pipes? Or if it's not inside the vessel, what is the consequence of a rigid vessel in a moving part? I exercise a lot and seem to have no exercise intolerance despite my CAC above 2600. But I can't say that I'm at ease with my image of my stone vessels being torqued by myocardial activity. Might it crack sometime? Then what? Might chelation reduce that risk and allow my vessels to revert to a more flexible state? I don't know and I don't expect to ever know. If I drop dead on the elliptical trainer, or in bed, it won't surprise me. If I live a long time like one of the members of this group, I will be surprised, for sure. In the meantime, perhaps some cardiology group or department somewhere will be able to shine some light on this condition for us fellow sufferers.

Coincidentally, there is an article out now about how dietary fiber promotes intestinal bacterial metabolism that protects against coronary disease. In my probably meaningless study where group size n=1 (ie, me), I've had the habit of consuming a big dose of oat bran every day for the last couple of decades. Makes for regularity with fluffy poop. Did it protect me from coronary disease? Certainly not based on my CAC……. probably other factors at play though…… nothing is simple. n=1, over and out. jon

Recently received a 979 CAC Score, passed a stress test and was prescribed 40mg Atorvastatin. After some statin research and learning the difference between relative risk/absolute risk plus the fact that statins increase calcium, I stopped the statin. I started a LCHF diet and increased exercise and supplementation. I monitor my Macro and Micro nutrients content daily. I Have no symptoms and feel great! I plan on experimenting with both diet and supplementation with the goal of slowing progression, there are reports of people actually lowering their CAC score. I will continue to research and modify and will have another CAC test in about 18 months. I'm actually enjoying the research and I'm more motivated to exercise than ever before. I can actually say that the discovery of a high CAC score has had a positive effect on my life.

@pcspetpro

Recently received a 979 CAC Score, passed a stress test and was prescribed 40mg Atorvastatin. After some statin research and learning the difference between relative risk/absolute risk plus the fact that statins increase calcium, I stopped the statin. I started a LCHF diet and increased exercise and supplementation. I monitor my Macro and Micro nutrients content daily. I Have no symptoms and feel great! I plan on experimenting with both diet and supplementation with the goal of slowing progression, there are reports of people actually lowering their CAC score. I will continue to research and modify and will have another CAC test in about 18 months. I'm actually enjoying the research and I'm more motivated to exercise than ever before. I can actually say that the discovery of a high CAC score has had a positive effect on my life.

Jump to this post

Good going @pcspetpro. In your research, n=1 and that's a worthy design leading to a unique therapy for the only patient!

Hi McFee, Hope your doing well. Im 64 and just got my calcium score of 726. They say Im highest risk. What have you done since 2016?

@pcspetpro

Recently received a 979 CAC Score, passed a stress test and was prescribed 40mg Atorvastatin. After some statin research and learning the difference between relative risk/absolute risk plus the fact that statins increase calcium, I stopped the statin. I started a LCHF diet and increased exercise and supplementation. I monitor my Macro and Micro nutrients content daily. I Have no symptoms and feel great! I plan on experimenting with both diet and supplementation with the goal of slowing progression, there are reports of people actually lowering their CAC score. I will continue to research and modify and will have another CAC test in about 18 months. I'm actually enjoying the research and I'm more motivated to exercise than ever before. I can actually say that the discovery of a high CAC score has had a positive effect on my life.

Jump to this post

I just received my score of 706 and was told Im in the highest risk group. Score of 4 in the widow maker. 0 in the left circumflex, 436 in the anterior descending and 266 in the right coronary. Im 64, 5"10" 175Lbs. 34" waist, 42" chest. Less then 20% body fat. I get on my elliptical trainer 2-3 times a week for 25-30 minutes. I walk miles other days, play golf 2 times a week. I will admit my strength and energy level is not what it used to be but so are my friends my age. I felt my blood pressure rise when my Dr called to tell me. Trying to find comfort to get me to the next stage….

At 2600+, I'd be thrilled with 706. I'm 72 with NO exercise intolerance and normal flow studies to date, short of angiography (which I won't have unless in an immediately life threatening state as I'm highly allergic [delayed systemic hypersensitivity reaction] to contrast). On one hand I feel like a walking time bomb. On the other, I'm pretty good at just getting on with my life as it is (I work, play lead guitar in a band, work out, etc). We're not gettin' out of here alive, so, as my cardiologist says, 'carpe diem'. jon

IMG_5039

Liked by lioness

@lambana

I just received my score of 706 and was told Im in the highest risk group. Score of 4 in the widow maker. 0 in the left circumflex, 436 in the anterior descending and 266 in the right coronary. Im 64, 5"10" 175Lbs. 34" waist, 42" chest. Less then 20% body fat. I get on my elliptical trainer 2-3 times a week for 25-30 minutes. I walk miles other days, play golf 2 times a week. I will admit my strength and energy level is not what it used to be but so are my friends my age. I felt my blood pressure rise when my Dr called to tell me. Trying to find comfort to get me to the next stage….

Jump to this post

Do you have any idea why your CAC Score is so high? Do you have elevated LDL cholesterol or LP(a)?

I had the basic non-contrast CAC done, with high scores in two coronary arteries (total score 1500) and close to zero in two others. Can they tell from this CT scan where in the arteries the plaque is located? Or if it is concentrated or spread out?

@pcspetpro

Do you have any idea why your CAC Score is so high? Do you have elevated LDL cholesterol or LP(a)?

Jump to this post

My total cholesterol is 185. LDL is 130. My cardiologist said the new rules on LDL are 190! I was surprised. Thanks for all the feedback. I didn't sleep well last night. I feel a little better now.

@bluesdoc

At 2600+, I'd be thrilled with 706. I'm 72 with NO exercise intolerance and normal flow studies to date, short of angiography (which I won't have unless in an immediately life threatening state as I'm highly allergic [delayed systemic hypersensitivity reaction] to contrast). On one hand I feel like a walking time bomb. On the other, I'm pretty good at just getting on with my life as it is (I work, play lead guitar in a band, work out, etc). We're not gettin' out of here alive, so, as my cardiologist says, 'carpe diem'. jon

Jump to this post

I don't have any exercise intolerance either. I'm not a body builder(you look great by the way) but I lift light weights and use my elliptical trainer 2-3 days a week for 25-30 minutes with no problem. Also play golf twice a week and train racehorses in the morning(I don't get on them anymore but I do a lot of walking). Thanks for your reply

@tim1028

I had the basic non-contrast CAC done, with high scores in two coronary arteries (total score 1500) and close to zero in two others. Can they tell from this CT scan where in the arteries the plaque is located? Or if it is concentrated or spread out?

Jump to this post

I didn't get that info but I have a score of 4 in the widow maker(Left main) and 0 in the Circumflex, 266 in the right coronary and 436 in the left anterior descending. May I ask what treatment you are undergoing?

@lambana

My total cholesterol is 185. LDL is 130. My cardiologist said the new rules on LDL are 190! I was surprised. Thanks for all the feedback. I didn't sleep well last night. I feel a little better now.

Jump to this post

Always heard the opposite with LDL. My Doc said to get below 100 is standard but in my case with the high calcium score below 80.

I have been on a moderately high dose statin, 40 mg of Atorvastatin and 81 mg aspirin for three months. I have none of the standard risk factors and have been physically active my whole life (I'm 70). Thankfully, I have experienced no side effects from the statin and hope to change to a high-dose 80 mg dose of Atorvastatin at my next medical appointment. The 2018 AHA/ACC cholesterol guidelines suggest lowering LDL cholesterol as much as possible
("In patients with clinical ASCVD, reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) with high-intensity statins or maximally tolerated statins to decrease ASCVD risk. Greater LDL-C reductions on statin therapy, leading to lower LDL-C levels, lower significant risk. Use a maximally tolerated statin to reduce LDL-C levels by ≥50%")

My genetic profile from 23andme shows a slightly increased risk for increased Lipoprotein A (SNP rs3798220 = normal; SNP 10455872 = likely elevated LpA.) I haven't had a test for Lp(A) because the horse is already out of the barn. Like others here, I have no exercise intolerance and am asymptomatic. My plan is to eat a more heart healthy diet (Mediterranean), continue to maintain physical activity levels, and address stress.

@tim1028– Tim, I had been on 40 mg. of Atorvastatin for about a year and began experiencing numbness in my feet when I walked. Went to the Scottsdale Mayo for a 2nd opinion on sevral heart issues and when discussing statins my cardiologist suggested moving to Rosuvastatin because in his opinion worked best on LDL. My LDL was at 78 at the time and he wanted me to get below 70. After 6 months of 20 mg. of Rosuvastatin, all my levels got much better including my LDL dropped to 64. Since than that continued 20 mg dose has maintained those numbers and the numbness is gone best of all!

Please login or register to post a reply.