Aa
A
A
A
Close
Heart Disease Community
20.1k Members
Avatar universal

Interpreting a calcium score

Hi

I am 58 year old female, non-smoker (gave up 12 years ago) and overweight (BMI ~29) but otherwise have no health problems. I recently had a cholesterol test which came back at an astronomical 9.5 total. I have always had high cholesterol but all the GPs beforehand took account of my high HDL (usually ~2) and declared that I didn't have a problem. My new GP has read recent clinical guidelines and says that I probably have familial hypercholesterolemia.  

Bizarrely, I am a family historian - I have my family tree going back at least 3 generations on all sides. No-one has died under the age of 72, male or female. My maternal grandmother died of a stroke at 83. My mother had a heart attack at 80 but is still alive four years later (after a single bypass and heart valve replacement). Her highest ever total cholesterol, according to her GP was 7.2. No other family members had heart problems. I do not, as far as I know have any clinical signs of FH like tendon xanthoma etc - possibly one small yellow blob on one eyelid - my mother has none. Could this be polygenic hypercholesterolemia and would that have a better prognosis?

Anyway, with the news of my cholesterol I paid for a heart scan. My CAC score was 96 - mild athersclerosis but 'high risk' for my age. I am now taking statins and aspirin. I do not have a unhealthy diet; I've never been fond of fatty things, cakes, biscuits etc. and I like fruit and vegetables but now my diet is even healthier and includes soya rather than dairy (I admit I was a cheesaholic!). I am not a couch potato and walk at least 2 miles a day most days of the week (I gave up driving years ago in favour of my feet). I am losing weight already with my new regime.

My question is realistically, probably hard to answer. Can I undo any of the damage to my arteries that's occurred already? How bad is '96'? Is my change in lifestyle and the drugs I've been given going to slow down the inevitable or are having furry arteries and heart attack inevitable? I'm rather keen on life and it's a bit of a shock to think that I may have already lost a big chunk of it when I had no idea that I had a genetic condition. Can it be slowed down, reversed even?

Any information would be gratefully received. Please excuse long post. Thank you.
0 Responses
Have an Answer?
Top Heart Disease Answerers
159619 tn?1538184537
Salt Lake City, UT
11548417 tn?1506084164
Netherlands
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is a low-fat diet really that heart healthy after all? James D. Nicolantonio, PharmD, urges us to reconsider decades-long dietary guidelines.
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Fish oil, folic acid, vitamin C. Find out if these supplements are heart-healthy or overhyped.
Learn what happens before, during and after a heart attack occurs.
What are the pros and cons of taking fish oil for heart health? Find out in this article from Missouri Medicine.
How to lower your heart attack risk.