I have a very high calcium score. What next?

Posted by dpframing @dpframing, Aug 24, 2018

Just joined the site and I'm looking to share with others who have had a high calcium score. I found out today that mine is 2996 and I am scared by this. I am 61 and I am totally asymptomatic. Now I feel like a walking time bomb. I am thinking of requesting an angiogram to see if there's any narrowing anywhere and if it can be corrected with a stent. After a second heart doctor told me that the plaque buildup might be uniform over the course of years with no big problem areas, I am encouraged. But the score still freaks me out, specifically my LAD at 1333. I don't smoke or drink but I have to lose 40 lbs.

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@cianci

18 months ago calcium score of 3535,
first and only test. Cardiologist was aghast, as was I. He gave me a stress test and said any abnormality, he would go straight to angiogram.
Stress test was normal, he said conventional medicine would stop at that.
But, he said to be careful, I should get an angiogram.
I haven't, at least not yet. I kinda agree with heycal above

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@cianci
My stress test was fine. Cardiologist says no further testing necessary as long as I remain symptom-free, and that there is "a ton of research that taking the meds better than going to get the anngiogram". A childhood friend who's also a cardiologist agrees.

So two cardiologists disagreed with those here and elsewhere who say you can't trust these things alone, and must get an angiogram or heart cath to be sure. So I will listen to them.

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@heycal

Finally tracked down Dr. Lown's essays #28 and #31. While I may have an extremely high calcium score (4048) and I'm fearing the worst, I think it would now be harder to convince me -- a guy with no current symptoms -- to undergo CABG based on some test results, as apparently many have done. I will do the nuclear stress test I've got scheduled for this week, but may stop there if I pass despite many here and elsewhere who say that test is not definitive and cath or such much be done as well.

I already have a stent in my neck for carotid artery disease that progressed to 90%, also without symptoms, and all that was/is fine so far. (Done fall 2022). But a part of me is questioning the value of a bunch of procedures, particularly something big like CABG, when I feel fine.

Is modern medicine keeping me from dropping dead any second, or consuming with me with unnecessary worry and intervention? I'm not sure. There's a definite part of me who wishes I'd never gotten any of these tests.

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7 years ago , i thought i was fine! Come to find out i was not fine at all! I was not sleeping very well because i had to go pee just about every other hour or so! I was moving like a sloth everywhere i went and no matter what i was doing , it was taking twice & sometimes 3 times longer than it should have taken me to do it!!! And boy ,was I swelling up ! Anyway I ended up getting a stress test done (And I was so glad that i did) , because i had 2 stents put right up next to each other because i had already had a heart attack and i never knew it. It ended up with me having a left bundle branch block

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18 months ago calcium score of 3535,
first and only test. Cardiologist was aghast, as was I. He gave me a stress test and said any abnormality, he would go straight to angiogram.
Stress test was normal, he said conventional medicine would stop at that.
But, he said to be careful, I should get an angiogram.
I haven't, at least not yet. I kinda agree with heycal above

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This is a great forum. Recently got three stents in my RCA. I got a 550 CAC score in November after experiencing shortness of breath. An abnormal stress test led to a CT Angio w contrast which showed some stenosis. Cath lab confirmed 90% blockage in RCA and mild disease in LAD.

Otherwise healthy 50yo and in shape. Dad had bypass at 55. Seems to be very much in my genes. Now on plavix, 20mg Crestor, baby aspirin and Lopressor. Definitely a wake up call. I feel this CAC test may have saved me from an early death or a serious cardiac event.

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Finally tracked down Dr. Lown's essays #28 and #31. While I may have an extremely high calcium score (4048) and I'm fearing the worst, I think it would now be harder to convince me -- a guy with no current symptoms -- to undergo CABG based on some test results, as apparently many have done. I will do the nuclear stress test I've got scheduled for this week, but may stop there if I pass despite many here and elsewhere who say that test is not definitive and cath or such much be done as well.

I already have a stent in my neck for carotid artery disease that progressed to 90%, also without symptoms, and all that was/is fine so far. (Done fall 2022). But a part of me is questioning the value of a bunch of procedures, particularly something big like CABG, when I feel fine.

Is modern medicine keeping me from dropping dead any second, or consuming with me with unnecessary worry and intervention? I'm not sure. There's a definite part of me who wishes I'd never gotten any of these tests.

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I've been on this cholesterol journey for more than 40 years now, having worked with multiple MD,s cardiologists, dieticians: for most people, diet can lower cholesterol by about 10%. So if your total cholesterol is around 200, you may be told to "watch your diet", but when your cholesterol is over 400 and LDL over 250 (me), there's genes and family history that plays a larger part that anything I can eat. Even with my "unamerican diet" as my doctor tells me, and with 80 mg statin and ezitimibe (Zetia), I still can't get my LDL number low enough with adding another drug (now Rapatha injections).

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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.

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Check out "The Calcium Lie". Full of info that is not standard info but makes a lot of sense and does offer ways to balance in body minerals, calcium being a major one.

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@heycal

I've heard that too, but aren't there numerous examples of people who lowered their cholesterol simply be eating better?

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@nbv2020

I thank you for pointing us to Dr Lown's musings # 28 & 31. Yes I did read them. It gave me so much hope and comfort because of his qualifications. I would recommend these writings to anyone dealing with Cardio issues.

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Where can one find these to read?

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