Calcium Score test

I have had high cholesterol levels for over 30 years. Doctors here in Australia talk about levels in terms of the Total/HDL ratio, which they say should be under 3.5. Mine has been around 8 for the last 30 years. I have always resisted taking statins - as I have been healthy, not greatly overweight, no high blood pressure and in recent years I have taken up running and lost around 10KG.

I recently changed GP's - and asked my Doctor if i could have a Calcium Score CT test as I have recently heard of it . Unfortunately, it has come back with a score of 550 - which is a moderate risk level and I am at the 75% percentile for my age. I have read where this number indicates that I have a 90% chance of a single 70% blockage of the coronary arteries.

I am having a ECG and a stress Echocardiogram tomorrow - my understanding is that the latter shows if there is any disturbance of the blood flow in the arteries when under stress on a treadmill. I am confident of fully passing the stress test as it will not stress me as much as a normal training run so, as I have yet to suffer any symptoms common to hardened/narrowed arteries, I am not sure where we will go from there.

Anybody here had a Calcium Score CT test?


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13 Replies

  • BTW - I have just found this PDF It is the best and most comprehensive explanation of heart disease as concerns calcium Score tests that I have found. Excellent!!

  • I urge you to take some action as a result of your CT score. I didn't take enough action after my CT score of 589 in 2004 when I was 54 years old. I had an angiogram that diagnosed moderate atherosclerosis, was put on a statin and told to cut down on saturated fats. Ten years on at age of 64 I had another CT scan as I was feeling little tightness in my chest. This time my score had gone up to 1560. Another angiogram confirmed major blockage in artery and I had to have a heart bypass operation. All this time I was on statins and had thought I had a reasonable low fat diet - my cholesterol was between 4 and 5. I am not convinced the statins had done any good. I have now changed my diet considerably and believe that is better than taking statins. Good luck - I am now a keen follower of Cauldwell Esselstyn and Dean Ornish and believe diet is the answer - I wish I had stated this back in 2004.

  • Thanks - from what I have read, they are very unsure of what actually causes plaque in the arteries. Cholesterol, smoking, alcohol, high blood pressure, overweight, stress (both mental and physical), diet, genetics!! Some people with high cholesterol don't have heart attacks while some people with low cholesterol do, some very fit people have heart attacks at an early age, while very unfit people go into old age without a symptom!!

    I have had high cholesterol for the past 30 years - but I also have had a western diet with almost no exercise for that time as well. Fortunately I started running about 3 years ago so I certainly get enough exercise now - but I have had too much alcohol, cheese, coffee, refined carbohyrates and red meat - basically too much of everything !!:) So - I am off the booze now - off coffee - no more white bread or rice - lots less read meats - more roughage like barley and brown rice, oats for breakfast - lots more vegetables - could still do with losing another 4-5 kg weight. Apart from that - and the fact that the Doctor wants to put me onto statins, I don't know what else one can do - except enjoy every day we have while we have it

    PS - when you say that you now believe diet is the answer, has "improving your diet" halted the progressing of your CT score - do you have any more CT scores done?

  • Hello,

    "I am having a ECG and a stress Echocardiogram tomorrow "

    I asked my GP to send me for an 12-lead, electro cardio gram and echo cardio gram five years ago, this is because GP commented that statin is the answer do recover all the damage by cholesterol. Both 12-lead, electro cardio gram and echo cardio gram came clear and the cardiologist said no medication necessary. during the 12-lead, electro cardio gram test the blood pressure went high! this is because of increase in activities. The nurse who was doing the test asked "Do I suffer from high blood pressure?" Lack of understanding of the test!!!

    Please do write down all your questions before your test and write down all the answers. I even took a photo of a heart from a training course to ask for explanation from the cardiologist! Ask for full explanation answers.

    I did try statin and my total cholesterol came down to 2.8!!!, gave up statin as my body needs cholesterol, who invented the total cholesterol number? why is it keep coming down? why are people living longer?

    My working life on full expense account travelling the world was good but not for my body!

    I started my life style change 5 years ago and I am fit and enjoying life without any medication, saving money to NHS!!! Eat what I want when I want, drink what I want.

    I go to the gym every day for 30 minutes, total time 1hour, walking 30 minutes.

    I am not interested in doing any more investigation to my body, what ever in the blood flow system is there, all electrical activities and all other flow system so far working fine, only time will tell!

  • I had a look at the 140 page report. first 25 pegs tell a god story!

    Are you going for a heart scan? Can NHS afford the money for heart scan?

  • I had a 12 lead ECG and a stress echocardiogram yesterday. I am in Australia - these tests were free to me as I am a retired pensioner - the Calcium Score test is not available on the Australian Govt free list and cost me $150 AUD - about 75 UKP or $100US

    I have not had any cardiac events or problems - except for a long period (30 years) of high cholesterol with no statins . The only reason I had the Calcium Score test was because I got myself a new GP, and when I was telling him all about "me", I asked whether he thought a Calcium Score test would be of benefit - and he said "let's do it ! - provided you can afford it! " :) So at this time I am only seeing a GP .

    I easily completed the stress test - the hardest part of this test is the fact that at the end of the test, you have to quickly lie down so they can take pics and you have to hold your breath for each pic- not so easy to do when you are puffing and panting at the end of the test. I can't imagine how less fit people would be able to do it. At this time, I have no results from the test

  • Thank you for your response.

    I am in UK, getting closer to 70, originally from Sri Lanka, a retired engineer, during my free time I have been doing a lot of on line courses on human health. I have learned a lot in the past three years.

    I have a part time employment where I pack parcels for on line order for Harrods. Standing on my feet for 8 hours, three days a week. I called this an exercise for three days and getting paid for it the basic rate of pay, pocket money for drinks..

    Now days I look at the very basic height to waist ration, a simple guide line to keep me fit. My waist belt is my guide line. I do not look at weight or BMI and other things.

  • I know that this will sound stupid!! :) - but I can never work out where my waist is??? Some trousers I wear have a higher ride so the belt goes mainly around my stomach at the level of my belly button. But some trousers/jeans ride lower and the belt does up around the top of my hips. There is a difference in size between these two places .

  • Bazza,

    I think your waist is where your belly button is. 🤔

  • Belly buttons can head south with gravity; the waist is halfway between the bottom rib and top of the pelvis.

  • Yes, I paid for one several months ago, and my score was zero at the age of 51.

  • Hi Concerned,

    Do you recall where you had your CT calcium arterial score and approx how much it cost? 🤔

  • I got it from Lifescan, but it's no longer available from them.

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