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3 days ago · Blood Donation, whole blood, Platelets, Red Cells, Plasma in Heart & Blood Health

Ginger–No one should feel guilty because they are ineligible to donate. I've been able to donate blood these many years, but there are many things that prevent donors from giving, things that affect the donated blood and things that protect the donor. I worked at a Blood Bank for several years and know that they are under constant pressure to get enough blood. Community donors who donate regularly are the backbone of the blood supply. I worked during 9/11 when the lines to donate blood stretched around the block. Regrettably, only a small fraction of the first-time donors who showed up to donate in a crisis ever came back to donate again for the day-to-day community needs.

Fri, Mar 15 1:34pm · High Calcium Score in Heart & Blood Health

We have some similarities. I am 70 and had the same basic calcium score as you with both the LAD and circumflex arteries above 400. . I had an exercise stress test with echo cardiogram performed last October, rather than an angiogram. I passed the stress/echo test by getting to the maximum heart rate, which shows that I have no blockages >70%. I am on a moderate/high dose of atorvastatin (40 mg ) and a baby aspirin. You are in great shape with no blockages greater than 20%! For what it's worth, I had an ultrasound test of carotid, peripheral and abdominal aorta done. No results yet. All the best to you, Carl

Sun, Mar 3 5:57pm · High Calcium Score in Heart & Blood Health

The cardiology professionals consider a diet that is low in saturated fat and abundant in fruits and vegetables–along the lines of a Mediterranean diet–is heart healthy. Recent studies show that a Vegan diet may be even better.

My numbers are Total Cholesterol 150, Triglycerides 120 LDL 95; HDL 28. Now that I am on a statin, my numbers are about half that, except for HDL, which stayed the same

Sat, Mar 2 11:45pm · High Calcium Score in Heart & Blood Health

The test that you had, a nuclear imaging stress test is different from what I had, because no radioactive dye was injected and the imaging was through echo ultrasound. I'm not sure how much blockage is necessary to make the test abnormal. You got tested, which is the right thing to do. Your cardiologist will review the results with you and formulate a reasonable treatment based on the results. I'm on Lipitor (atorvastatin) 40 mg, which both my PCP and cardiologist recommend. For purposes of full disclosure I am more anxious than most people and have been taking citalopram for anxiety for the last 10 years. It works well, but I also use techniques like cognitive behavior therapy to help with day-to-day generalized anxiety. Take care, hang in there, and take it a day at a time. There is some controversy regarding statins and there side effects, but for me it is the right path to follow and thankfully I am without side effects.

Sat, Mar 2 9:00pm · High Calcium Score in Heart & Blood Health

I can relate to your anxiety. I'm in a similar situation with a CAC score of 1562 with no symptoms. I had a stress test with echocardiogram, which was normal, i.e., no blockages above 70%. I am now on a daily aspirin and a high dose statin. I have no risk factors other than a low HDL. I am currently trying to exercise and eat according to health-heart guidelines. Simply because 4 months has passed since I was tested and I am a lot more knowledgeable about coronary artery atherosclerosis, I am less anxious than I was, but there is still a low-volume steady anxiety that underlies daily life. I'm 70 and still hope live another 10 to 20 years.

Wed, Feb 20 8:40pm · Video Q&A about Statins in Heart & Blood Health

I am taking a high-dose statin and a daily low-dose aspirin because of a high coronary artery calcium score (1,600) I have no risk factors other than a low HDL. I've read that a low HDL increases heart attack risk eight-fold. Can you comment on this.

Wed, Feb 6 12:04am · Blood Donation, whole blood, Platelets, Red Cells, Plasma in Heart & Blood Health

@Jake Thanks for posting statistics about blood. Organ transplants also need numerous units of blood. And because of highly sensitive modern laboratory testing for viruses, blood is very safe. There one chance in a million of getting HIV, Hep B or C from a donated unit. The main problem is blood given to the wrong patient, which still happens occasionally despite ultra-strict guidelines regarding patient identification. I got started donating blood because my father, a WWII pilot, was a regular donor and encouraged me to give blood.

Tue, Feb 5 9:29pm · Blood Donation, whole blood, Platelets, Red Cells, Plasma in Heart & Blood Health

Why should we donate blood? Because blood saves lives. It is correct that only about 5% of the population donates blood.There are a lot of myths about blood donation, too numerous to list. If you're not sure you are eligible to donate, or have been told by someone you shouldn't donate because (fill in the blank), don't assume that you can't. Call the blood donation center in your area, Red Cross or Independent Blood Center, and ask. They will give you the correct answers that follow FDA regulations. I am 70 years old and have been donating blood for 50 years, averaging about four donations a year. I donate whole blood, which is split into components (red cells, plasma, and platelets) to be used for three different individuals. I take a daily multivitamin with 18 mg of iron to keep up my iron stores. One in three of us will need a blood transfusion in our lifetime. Thankfully, I have never been on the receiving end, but am glad I am still eligible to be on the giving end.