How long did you have to wait to see a Cardiologist?

Posted by heartme @heartme, Mar 23, 2023

My husband received his very high CAC score (1,500) early in March and the current time for him to get triaged by the intake people can take up to five weeks we were told. And that's not for an appointment, just when they will contact him to make an appointment!

Is this the norm these days? Would like to know how long you had to wait.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Heart & Blood Health Support Group.


I had no trouble making an appointment with a cardiologist in about three week’s time. BUT, I live in Northern Virginia near an excellent hospital and that makes a huge difference in wait times! Do you live near a large university?

Jump to this post

I do but sadly they are all short-staffed which is the problem.


The typical clown medical care lmao


Hello, is your husband having any sypmtoms, such as shortness of breath during exertion, intermittent chest pain, etc.? If so, that "should" allow you to make the case to get in to see a cardiologist much sooner to determine if there's blockage. And of course if he's having serious cardiac sytmptoms, he should go to the ER.

I can DEFINITELY relate to the anxiety. I'm a 60 year old male and recently found out my CAC score was 2534! And I've always been active, maintained my weight, non-smoker/non-drinker, walk/hike quite a bit. Haven't been a big red meat eater at least the last 10 years. So I was shocked by this number. I thought I was going to get a visit from the Grim Reaper that week lol.

But then I started reading everything I could about CAC scores and realized I don't need to panic until I have further tests done. I'm completely asymptomatic. It took me a month to get in to see a cardiologist at Duke. This past Tuesday I had an echo cardiogram and nuclear stress test done. The stress test came back completely normal (but unfortunately it didn't show what % of blockage, if any, that I had in my coronary arteries. That's what I really wanted to know for my own peace of mind. Not sure why they don't note that in the results). I'm still waiting on my echo results.

My point to all this is that it's not a death sentence when you have a high CAC score (even one as high as your husbands). It really doesn't mean much until he's had further testing done and knows if there's 70% or more blockage in any of the main heart/coronary arteries. Below 70%, they don't stent. If he's lucky, the calcification is on the outside of the arteries or inside the walls, and not IN the arteries themselves. That's where it's most dangerous, because then it can cause blockage.

Despite my high CAC score, I did great on the treadmill (had a METS score of 10.1 after 7 minutes of walking at different speeds). No chest pain during testing either. So, I'm relieved by that.

I wish your husband the best. As long as he isn't having any symptoms of heart problems, I'd say he can relax until he gets some testing done.

Best of luck!


He FINALLY had his appointment this week with the cardiologist! He was given an ECG during the consult (the kind that takes a few seconds) which was "fine" and was told no further testing was indicated because he is asymptomatic. I thought for sure he would be given a stress test. He was sent home with a prescription for Crestor 10mg and no follow-up unless he develops symptoms. Edited to add that the rationale for no further testing as long as he is asymptomatic is aligned with this:


A CAC score can tell about a person's current risk, but it doesn't pinpoint the person's current STATE. A high score is truly suggestive of future problems, but when is that 'future'.....tomorrow morning or six years from now? How do we tell? With an angiogram, or an MRI, or a MIBI stress test, even a Doppler ultrasound of the coronary arteries and carotid arteries.

The statin is meant to stave off what might be inevitable. Meaning, delaying it by months or years. In fact, it is possible that with a statin the eventuality will never actually happen. I'm talking about a stroke or an infarct. If it helps, I went from 20 mg of Atorvastatin to 40 when I became more worrisome at the end of my second MIBI test. The attending physician noticed supraventricular tachycardia a few seconds before they stopped the test (I had maxed out for the normal population). When my cardiologist saw the results, he called me and told me he was upping the dose of statin because he was worried about heart disease. Several tests, later, including an angiogram which showed 'minor deposition' of plaque, he hasn't changed me back down to the initial dose.

I would ask the cardiologist if an angiogram or Doppler would help to situate your hubby in terms of absolute risk, not a prediction.

Please sign in or register to post a reply.