I come from a long line of family menbers with heart disease . I have had an echo and heart scan over the years and the echo revealed a heart murmer ,which I was told it was nothing . The Scan showed I had moderate calium bulid up . My Mom has pacemaker and my sister just under went heart by pass and both sets of grandparents died of heart attack . when I ask my Dr if I should have test done on heart to keep an eye on pessible trouble , I was told unless I was having syptoms then theres no need . why do we have to wait until theres a problem , Can we not help oursevles by doing preventive screening ? I am 53 and love life !
It is difficult to know what to do in patients who have risk factors for heart disease but have not developed any symptoms. It the development of coronary atherosclerosis than to treat it, so I would recommend checking your lipid profile and starting a statin if your LDL is greater than 100 for a goal of 70 or so. If your HDL is low, then adherence with a low carbohydrate diet, and aerobic exercise is more important than medications in this respect. Also you should be on a full dose daily aspirin and a beta blocker if you have hypertension.Apart from that only if you had severe coronary atherosclerosis ( left main or proximal LAD disease), or severe aortic stenosis would any more invasive strategies result in a survival benefit. Any less coronary disease than that may buy you a stent in an artery, but this will not prevent heart attacks in the future.
You have just had screening that already hints at a cause for concern. Since you have some calcium be sure to work on all the factors within your control. Get your doc's okay for regular exercise and eat a heart healthy diet .Keep an eye on your cholesterol and BP and if you need meds be sure to get them. If you don't smoke that's great. If you do, you may want to consider stopping.
In light of your background, I don't think its unreasonable to ask for a stress test or possibly the 64 slice CT scan. The stess test with imaging has a fairly high sensitivity for detecting significant blockages. The CT scan is much better, but is less useful where significant calcium is present. I think in the US you wouldn't have a problem getting one or both of these tests. Canada may be different.
At the very least, regardless of what testing might show, I think I would be carefully monitoring my major risk factors such as smoking, cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Thank you for your reply .Can you tell me what test would you recommend for someone that is concerned and does not want to wait until syptoms appear ? I like trying to do preventive methods when possible . Thank you very much .
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