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

I just had a CT coronary angiogram with calcium score and my score is 1608. I am 68 years old, male with no symptoms. I do fairly intense exercise 5-7 days per week. I am not overweight. I will be scheduling a follow up with GP and then cardiologist. I too am very concerned about this.

Cholesterol and blood pressure normal with a low dose statin and a low dose losartin.

I too am very concerned.

How are you doing?

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First time poster. I had a cac of 960 about ten years ago. Scared half to death , went to cardiologist and did a nuclear stress test 2 years in a row all good. Take an 81mg. aspirin and 40 mg atorvastatin every day. The cardiologist also had me on Niaspan and quit that after a couple years of hot flushing and stinging pins and needles. I have had no symptoms since. I do 40 mins cardio and 30 mins strength training 3 times a week. Recently lost about 25lbs. before a knee replacement on June 25th. almost at high school weight now. I had a friend have a heart attack 3 days ago and he wound up getting 3 stents, which is why I came to this board. That high score is always in the back of my mind. I only see my family medicine doc once a year for physical and blood work. cholesterol is good but I can't get hdl to rise. ldl is good. I was wondering how many on this board see a cardiologist regularly just because of a high score. My friends ha has me wondering again.

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@jimk849

First time poster. I had a cac of 960 about ten years ago. Scared half to death , went to cardiologist and did a nuclear stress test 2 years in a row all good. Take an 81mg. aspirin and 40 mg atorvastatin every day. The cardiologist also had me on Niaspan and quit that after a couple years of hot flushing and stinging pins and needles. I have had no symptoms since. I do 40 mins cardio and 30 mins strength training 3 times a week. Recently lost about 25lbs. before a knee replacement on June 25th. almost at high school weight now. I had a friend have a heart attack 3 days ago and he wound up getting 3 stents, which is why I came to this board. That high score is always in the back of my mind. I only see my family medicine doc once a year for physical and blood work. cholesterol is good but I can't get hdl to rise. ldl is good. I was wondering how many on this board see a cardiologist regularly just because of a high score. My friends ha has me wondering again.

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Hi jimk849,

My cac is over 1000, and my cardiologist wants to see me every 6 mos. I'm 62 but have significant family history of heart disease. I think that beside the total cac score that the distribution of the calcium is also a factor. If it is spread between the 5 major arteries it is not as bad as if it is concentrated in a few. In my case my right coronary artery alone is over 700 and my left anterior descending is over 300. As long as you are asymptomatic and you live a healthy life style there is not much else you can do.

Liked by dpframing

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@keithl56

Hi jimk849,

My cac is over 1000, and my cardiologist wants to see me every 6 mos. I'm 62 but have significant family history of heart disease. I think that beside the total cac score that the distribution of the calcium is also a factor. If it is spread between the 5 major arteries it is not as bad as if it is concentrated in a few. In my case my right coronary artery alone is over 700 and my left anterior descending is over 300. As long as you are asymptomatic and you live a healthy life style there is not much else you can do.

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I don't remember any component breakdown of the total score. My wife worked at a hospital at that time and they had just installed the equip. that does this test and all the employees received coupons to get the cac test for $75.00. I can't remember exactly how long ago it was but it must be around 10 years ago. Got me thinking I might be wise to see a cardiologist again, I quit going to the Dr. I originally saw after about two yearly office visits after the initial 2 nuclear stress tests.

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@seaera

I just had a CT coronary angiogram with calcium score and my score is 1608. I am 68 years old, male with no symptoms. I do fairly intense exercise 5-7 days per week. I am not overweight. I will be scheduling a follow up with GP and then cardiologist. I too am very concerned about this.

Cholesterol and blood pressure normal with a low dose statin and a low dose losartin.

I too am very concerned.

How are you doing?

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Hi Seaera and jimk849. So I had a cac score of 693 last year no symptoms I’m 60 great , well good shape, cardiologist put me on 80 mg statins and baby aspirin. Everything I read that’s not great so this year I decide to get another cac scan to see if statins work amd it was 1139. What? Freaked out went to another cardiologists at well known hosp he told me won’t do a catch says too risky and that the therapy I’m on is what I should trust. Unless I go on a run , usually run 3 every other day, and feel different than I’ve ever felt then come in to hosp. My question to him was isn’t it odd that my cac went up over 60% in a year while in stats maxed out ? I’m uneasy wondering if something else makes calcium so high . Also my thyroid is fine cholesterol is 70/41. Good luck to all I mean it! Best, B.

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IMHO, It begs the question: why put you on a statin to begin with if your cholesterol is so low. It could be that the statin allowed a buildup of calcium to occur (since you've been taking it) in the walls of your arteries, like in my case. The only way to know for sure is with an angiogram. Se what the doc says about this tho.

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I am a new member. I recently had a calcium score CT test that resulted in a score of over 1500. I am 69 and am asymptomatic with no risk factors except a low HDL. This test result is a complete surprise and my anxiety index is high and I have no idea what this means for future treatment. I have a stress echocardiogram scheduled next week. What can I expect on the road ahead? I feel a bit like there is a cardiac bomb ticking . Most of the calcium is concentrated in two arteries

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Hi Tim
We are the same age, and the same score.
I was diagnosed last year and at the time I felt as you do.
I wish I had more time today to answer this more fully, but here goes. This is how my cardio explained it to me.
There are broadly speaking two types of heart attack, calcified and noncalcified, you have an 87% less chance of having a heart event as the guy with a plaque and no calcium. As the calcification fortifies the plaque in your arteries.
Also, there is a study done showing that people you have high calcium scores live equally as long as guys who go on to have bypass work done.
See youtube Dr. Ford Brewer,s video on calcification, he has a high calcium score himself and he says the same thing and advises not to lower it(although I still do). Explanation to follow.
There is a very recent Lancet study(about five weeks ago) advising not to take aspirin unless you are a certain height and weight I think it was 5 10 and 70 kg. It says aspirin can be dangerous and increases the chance of stroke.
Interestingly Dr. Ford Brewer shows how he lowered his arterial considerably, he shows the paperwork to prove it.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31133-4/fulltext

The videos I have included above should ease your mind a little and set you on the right path.

My very best to you. Note the Lancet journal is up there.

Frank

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@tim1028

I am a new member. I recently had a calcium score CT test that resulted in a score of over 1500. I am 69 and am asymptomatic with no risk factors except a low HDL. This test result is a complete surprise and my anxiety index is high and I have no idea what this means for future treatment. I have a stress echocardiogram scheduled next week. What can I expect on the road ahead? I feel a bit like there is a cardiac bomb ticking . Most of the calcium is concentrated in two arteries

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@tim1028 In the 90,s Ihad triple by pass at that time after surgery Dr put me on Aspirin 81mg it acts as a blood thinner to prevent clots Its been 23 yrs now Ive taken the aspirin every night and still here Long before this the Dr told me my calcium level was good so Not to take calcium as you get it done n food greens in particular.You also need magnesium for your heart and other organs .I went through 3heart catheterization,stress test before surgery then echocardiogram none of it is worth worrying about ,anxiety and panicking can do more harm to you emotions play on these. Good luck

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@lioness – You're confusing calcium levels in the blood with calcified plaque in the arteries, two completely different things

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@keithl56

@lioness – You're confusing calcium levels in the blood with calcified plaque in the arteries, two completely different things

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@keithl56, are calcium level in the blood and calcified plaque in the arteries related — that is, dependent on each other to some degree? I got reassurance (similar to that from @lioness) from the posting 8 hours earlier by @frank1847 who said ". . . the calcification fortifies the plaque in your arteries."

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The calcium in the blood is not what to be concerned about The CT that identifies the calcified plaque is indicative of coronary artery disease, depending on the score. It is important to note that only about 20% of plaque is calcified, so you actually have 5 times the amount of plaque.

Unfortunately it is not possible to differentiate between stable and unstable plaque at this time. I haven't seen any study that says calcified plaque is more stable. There are two concerns with CAD. First is the stenosis which is the actual blocking of the arteries. At least with this there is a good chance of having warning signs with this and once you are symptomatic you have treatment options. However, if you have a plaque rupture you can end up with a sudden major cardio event or stroke.

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@keithl56

The calcium in the blood is not what to be concerned about The CT that identifies the calcified plaque is indicative of coronary artery disease, depending on the score. It is important to note that only about 20% of plaque is calcified, so you actually have 5 times the amount of plaque.

Unfortunately it is not possible to differentiate between stable and unstable plaque at this time. I haven't seen any study that says calcified plaque is more stable. There are two concerns with CAD. First is the stenosis which is the actual blocking of the arteries. At least with this there is a good chance of having warning signs with this and once you are symptomatic you have treatment options. However, if you have a plaque rupture you can end up with a sudden major cardio event or stroke.

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@keithl56 I wonder whether @frank1847 would agree that there are no studies showing calcified plaque is more stable than noncalcified. He quotes Dr. Ford Brewer on the subject and refers to other information that sounds like study results.

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My cardiologist told me that at this time there is no way to distinguish between vulnerable and non-vulnerable plaque, and the level of calcification is not an indicator. He said the first one to come with such a test will probably win the Nobel Prize for medicine.

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@keithl56

My cardiologist told me that at this time there is no way to distinguish between vulnerable and non-vulnerable plaque, and the level of calcification is not an indicator. He said the first one to come with such a test will probably win the Nobel Prize for medicine.

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Well @keithl56, issues surrounding calcified and noncalcified plaque in the circulatory system are more complicated than one thinks and beyond the expected expertise of one cardiologist. Citations from Mayo Clinic show at least three major divisions of disease in which calcified and noncalcified plaque is crucial — 1) myocardial ischemia in the heart, 2) peripheral artery disease (especially in arteries serving the head and the brain), and 3) arteriovenous malformations in the brain and a few other organs.

My own experience relates to diagnostic tests in search of plaque that may have caused my stroke this summer. Fortunately, plaque was not the cause, but a broadly based investigation by my medical team considered that possibility and the question of calcification of the plaque they located. Apparently Mayo Clinic and my HMO are ahead of the crowd on issues of calcified and noncalcified arterial plaque.

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