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Extremely high Cardiac Calcium Score

Dear Experts,

A year and a half ago my husband (59yo) had a cardiac CT scan.  His total score was very high at 1400.  He immediately went on the Dean Ornish Reversal Diet and cut out ALL oils and fats, went totally vegan and lost 30 lbs (he is 6" and weighs 180).  He was also put on statins right away and Ace Inhibitor for HBP.  He is asymptomatic, no chest pains, or anything else.  At the time he took a stress echo test took it as high and for as long as it would go and it showed no blockages (a year ago), normal result.  He has a genetic predisposition to heart disease, (his father died at an early age of diabetes related heart attack.)

Today, 15 months later, he had another cardiac CT scan and his numbers are now skyrocketing at 1750!  HOw and why would this be?  

One thing he has NOT done is cut down on sugar.  He eats a lot of it. Could this be affecting his numbers?  What can be done to stop the progression of this CAD?  He exercises but not consistently (daily) but is very active regardless.  After over a year of following the Dean Ornish Reversal Diet RELIGIOUSLY, it seems something is very wrong.

Can you please shed some light on what other measures we can take to remedy, or stall this?  

Also, can you recommend a specialist in the Southern California area that can see him?

Thank you,
Carrie, Concerned Wife

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Coronary calcium scores at used as a risk predictor for coronary artery disease. It is not beneficial to look for a change in the score (in fact, it is not recommended to repeat 1 year later in any scenario).  If he was able to complete the exercise portion of the stress test, irregardless of the results, his prognosis from a heart disease perspective is fantastic. Given that he completed the exercise portion and had normal echocardiographic results are more important than any coronary calcium score. If he is actively exercising with no symptoms of coronary disease (chest pain, shortness of breath, decreasing exercise tolerance) a repeat stress test is not indicated or needed. Exercise, eating a healthy diet, controlling his BP, and cholesterol control are all equally important.
Avatar universal
Wow, thank you for that insight.  I will definitely pass that information on to him. He has absolutely no symptoms even while exercising rigorously and the stress test results were excellent so we will heed your advice and continue on his regimen of healthy eating (minus the sugar) and maintenance of Cholesterol and BP.

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