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Tue, Jan 8 1:09pm · High Calcium Score in Heart & Blood Health

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.

Mon, Jan 7 11:38pm · High Calcium Score in Heart & Blood Health

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?

Dec 21, 2018 · Side Benefits of Statins in Heart & Blood Health

Thanks for your reply. I have included a link to an published study related to statins and atheroprotective genes

Dec 20, 2018 · Calcium Scoring Test in Heart & Blood Health

Martin–According to the standard Coronary Artery Calcium scoring, a score of 100-400 is considered a moderate level of atherosclerosis. Yes, absolutely, Lainie64 should be discussing this at her upcoming cardiologist visit to get an expert opinion about taking a statin.

Dec 19, 2018 · Side Benefits of Statins in Heart & Blood Health

I was recently started on statins due to an increased cardiac risk. My understanding was that statins are used primarily to lower LDL cholesterol levels to below 70. I've been doing some research of published studies about the heart-healthy side benefits from statins. Here is the list I came up with. Please feel free to add any other benefits that you know about that are not listed.

 Improved or restored endothelial function (by nitric oxide biosynthesis)
 Decreased oxidative stress, (imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants
in your body. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an
uneven number of electrons) protecting cell walls from being damaged by
 Decreased vascular inflammation
 Inhibited thrombogenic reaction, including platelet aggregation
 Increased vascular function, widening arteries to carry more blood
 Reversal of negative effects on heart
 Lessened heart thickening and chamber enlargement
 50% decreased heart attack and stroke risk
 Cholesterol drawn out of plaque
 Plaque regression parallels LDL cholesterol decrease
 Increased plaque stability ( Plaque instability is related to a thin fibrous
capsule with high macrophage content.) by decreasing macrophage
accumulation and cholesterol ester content in plaque and increasing
collagen component.
 Increased activity of endothelial progenitor cells to promote
revascularization of ischemic tissue
 Protects cardiovascular cells directly by speeding DNA repair
and slowing cell death
 Reduced blood viscosity, facilitating blood flow through partially
blocked arteries.
 Inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation
 Increased expression of atheroprotective genes

Dec 19, 2018 · Calcium Scoring Test in Heart & Blood Health

Martin–Because she has a moderate plaque burden, based on her Coronary Artery Calcium score, and her age. With that combination, cardiologist is likely to recommend a statin based on her somewhat elevated cardiac risk. Or at the least continue with the daily aspirin. Cardiologists are more aggressively recommending statins with moderate to high CACS

Dec 18, 2018 · Calcium Scoring Test in Heart & Blood Health

The best things to do are take a statin, manage blood pressure and stress, exercise, eat heart healthy, and avoid diabetes. And my personal suggestion: Don;t obsess about your calcium score. Mine (1560) means I have the arteries of a 90 year old.

Dec 5, 2018 · very high calcium score. in Heart & Blood Health

The linked Mayo Clinic article on coronary artery calcium scoring is excellent. It refers to the American Heart Association's 'Simple 7' ways to be heart healthy. I have a high CAC score (1560) but do all seven heart healthy recommendations, so my lifestyle is highly likely to help counteract the deleterious effect of a high plaque burden. My cardiologist started me on a high-dose statin and a daily baby aspirin and told me to see him in a year. He said the problem with most of his patients is to get them to make healthy choices that reduce their cardiac risk. What works for me is to make small, conscious changes. Over time these seemingly unremarkable changes add up to big results. 'It's hard by the yard, but a cinch by the inch'