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  #31   ^
Old Fri, Dec-30-16, 09:15
bkloots's Avatar
bkloots bkloots is online now
Posts: 8,835
 
Plan: Atkins/LCHF
Stats: 195/149.7/135 Female 63in
BF:
Progress: 76%
Location: Kansas City, MO
Default

Glenn, good for you for finding a better deal. You'll be glad to have the info from the CAC--whatever it is. Data aids decision-making. However, if I were you, I'd keep on saying NO to statins. There are lots of books around to arm yourself with information on that. I like The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden (and a host of other statin critics.) I have it on my Kindle.

Best wishes.
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  #32   ^
Old Tue, Jan-03-17, 09:15
SabreCat50 SabreCat50 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 131
 
Plan: modified Atkins
Stats: 220/178/170 Male 6 ft 1 in
BF:
Progress: 84%
Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Default Good news / Not so good news

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreCat50
Usual story - my wife and I had our physicals and the blood work showed that we had high LDL and total cholesterol, but with good HDL and triglycerides. (We are both 66.) Our doctor says we should both take statins. And we both said no - not with more evidence like a CAC score or better blood tests like NMR.

A nurse called back to us to say that we could get a CAC from the hospital associated with the doctor's office for $450!! Each!

We found another option in a nearby town (Lincoln, NE) that only costs $119 each. Since Medicare won't pay for it, this is a much better choice.

So...in just a few hours we will have the test done. I will post the results when we get them.


We got our scores...

First the good news: My wife had a score of zero!!!

Now the not so good news: My score is 116. Surprisingly or not, my wife had and has had significantly hight LDL and total cholesterol readings.

The report reads "This gives an overall total coronary calcium score of 116, which represents a moderately high risk for cardiovascular events in the next 5 years."

The recommendation is, of course, to take aspirin - which I do anyway - and statins. I won't do that yet. Next up: blood test. Ah well.
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  #33   ^
Old Tue, Jan-03-17, 09:24
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 5,875
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/208/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 101%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
Default

Thanks for sharing, Glenn. I will be having a CAC done in the next few weeks. I will do another NMR as well, but I'll do that closer to my next annual checkup in March. Sorry that you didn't have better results. I sometimes wonder if it is better to know or not to know. Maybe that I why I didn't have one done last year when I said I would. I guess it is better to know - for better or for worse. I'll post my CAC results when I have them.
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  #34   ^
Old Tue, Jan-03-17, 09:28
SabreCat50 SabreCat50 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 131
 
Plan: modified Atkins
Stats: 220/178/170 Male 6 ft 1 in
BF:
Progress: 84%
Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by khrussva
Thanks for sharing, Glenn. I will be having a CAC done in the next few weeks. I will do another NMR as well, but I'll do that closer to my next annual checkup in March. Sorry that you didn't have better results. I sometimes wonder if it is better to know or not to know. Maybe that I why I didn't have one done last year when I said I would. I guess it is better to know - for better or for worse. I'll post my CAC results when I have them.


I think it's always better to know. I can now try to do something about it... . Good luck.
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  #35   ^
Old Tue, Jan-03-17, 10:07
bkloots's Avatar
bkloots bkloots is online now
Posts: 8,835
 
Plan: Atkins/LCHF
Stats: 195/149.7/135 Female 63in
BF:
Progress: 76%
Location: Kansas City, MO
Default

Glenn, as you're exploring your options, I recommend the book The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden et al. I have it on my Kindle and recently revisited it. You'll want some scientific ammunition against taking a statin, and also recommendations about ways to keep your blood and arteries in a healthy condition. Edit: Ha ha! I see I already recommended this in a previous post. Still good!

My CAC was also zero (at age 70) in spite of (?) perpetually high (?) total cholesterol. The entire cholesterol scare (and the pharmaceutical gold mine) is based on sketchy science, and needs to change.

As a result of some research, I've stopped taking calcium supplements as an osteoporosis preventive, as I've concluded that the extra calcium 1) does not do much to build bones, and 2) may be counterproductive to the possibility of calcium build-up in the vascular system.

You just have to read up and make the best choices you can. About some things, docs are in the dark (ages).

Best wishes.
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  #36   ^
Old Tue, Jan-03-17, 18:03
SabreCat50 SabreCat50 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 131
 
Plan: modified Atkins
Stats: 220/178/170 Male 6 ft 1 in
BF:
Progress: 84%
Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreCat50
We got our scores...

First the good news: My wife had a score of zero!!!

Now the not so good news: My score is 116. Surprisingly or not, my wife had and has had significantly hight LDL and total cholesterol readings.

The report reads "This gives an overall total coronary calcium score of 116, which represents a moderately high risk for cardiovascular events in the next 5 years."

The recommendation is, of course, to take aspirin - which I do anyway - and statins. I won't do that yet. Next up: blood test. Ah well.


The report also said that I was "... in the 55th percentile ...".

Does anyone know what this means? Do 55% of people matching my age, gender, etc. have more calcium than I do or less? A greater chance of a cardiac event or less?

Thanks
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  #37   ^
Old Tue, Jan-03-17, 19:04
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Posts: 3,240
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
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Being in the 55th percentile means that 55% of people matching your age and gender (assuming that is what they are measuring you against) have a lower score than you do and 45% have a higher score.

Jean
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  #38   ^
Old Tue, Jan-03-17, 19:55
SabreCat50 SabreCat50 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 131
 
Plan: modified Atkins
Stats: 220/178/170 Male 6 ft 1 in
BF:
Progress: 84%
Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
Being in the 55th percentile means that 55% of people matching your age and gender (assuming that is what they are measuring you against) have a lower score than you do and 45% have a higher score.

Jean

Thanks. It's about what I expected.
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  #39   ^
Old Tue, Jan-24-17, 16:39
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 5,875
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/208/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 101%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreCat50
I think it's always better to know. I can now try to do something about it... . Good luck.

For better or for worse now I know. I had my scan today. I don't have a copy of the report yet but I did get my score from the technician. 343. That is the upper end of the moderate risk of CVD. Not the best of news. I see a statin prescription in my future if I don't get the same results as Rob from this dairy free trial that I'm doing. My annual checkup is in 2 months.
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  #40   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 05:33
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 9,491
 
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
Default

My GP indicated that she was using a formula with the CAC that includes age, gender, weight, BG, and of course cholesterol, to determine if she would prescribe statins, or order more tests like the stress test, etc. There is a chart that indicates even with borderline cholesterol, statins would be indicated with a CAC at that level. No idea if the chart is used universally, or each center has their own formulas. You might consider the next two months as time to delve into the CAC, these formulas, the various statins and doses, more invasive tests, see a cardiologist, etc as you will likely know more about it than your GP, there are many "next steps" that may be considered.
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  #41   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 05:55
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
To Good Health!
Posts: 9,491
 
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
Default

And in one of those coincidences that seem to happen often, an email from Ivor Cummings this morning announced a one hour TV version of The Widowmaker film. Top quality, Free on YouTube.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WygYk81gXXk

There is an Irish businessman who has a high score and makes lifestyle changes, and interviews with the well-known cardiologists who would treat with statins, Steve Nissan at Cleveland Clinic, etc. The longer version was a fair evaluation of treatments; thesis was more why cholesterol is not a good marker of disease and the CAC is.

Ivor's Email:

Quote:
Just been sent a link to the 1-hour TV Version of The Widowmaker - see the fascinating history of Calcium Scanning. The most powerful diagnostic for heart disease presence (and severity). It is also proving to be the most accurate predictor of all-cause mortality risk. It is also a superbly entertaining hour of high-quality filmmaking (top ratings in Rotten Tomatoes and Ebert & Ebert etc.) Link below - forward to family and friends - it may very well save their lives:


February is "Heart Month" in the US. A Diagnostic Lab near you may offer a special price this month. Call around, even with the special pricing, there was a wide range of cost. Earlier in this thread members around the country compared costs.

Last edited by JEY100 : Wed, Jan-25-17 at 06:01.
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  #42   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 06:22
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 5,875
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/208/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 101%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
Default

BTW - I paid $129. This clinic is running a special from December through February.

InteCardia CT Heart Calcium Scan Special

The scan itself only took a few minutes.

Last edited by khrussva : Wed, Jan-25-17 at 07:21.
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  #43   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 06:29
thud123's Avatar
thud123 thud123 is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 4,173
 
Plan: ~25NC/IF
Stats: 342.2/185.9/000 Male 72 inches
BF:
Progress: 46%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by khrussva
For better or for worse now I know. I had my scan today. I don't have a copy of the report yet but I did get my score from the technician. 343. That is the upper end of the moderate risk of CVD. Not the best of news. I see a statin prescription in my future if I don't get the same results as Rob from this dairy free trial that I'm doing. My annual checkup is in 2 months.

Well, it's just a number for now and only 3 possible outcomes could have been created, you feel better, the same or worse by the result. These feelings may change over time. I'll be curious to see if your lipid panel moves around from the non dairy experiment.

You have a level head Ken, use this new data to your advantage and thank you for posting. I should get one of these as well. Still trying to get a more detailed lipid at my next visit.
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  #44   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 07:17
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Posts: 3,240
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
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It is possible that this score is better than the score you would have had 2 years ago. I think it makes sense to wait to make any decisions about what to do until after you get a retest at a later date.

Jean
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  #45   ^
Old Wed, Jan-25-17, 07:32
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 5,875
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/208/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 101%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
It is possible that this score is better than the score you would have had 2 years ago. I think it makes sense to wait to make any decisions about what to do until after you get a retest at a later date.

Jean

I will do as Janet suggested and do all the reading up I can on this subject between now and my March doctor visit. My preliminary argument is that if these statin drugs work so well then why is CVD still such a disaster. I have come to believe that diet is the root cause and the most likely cure for many health issues including CVD. I don't know that the score can actually go down. It seems that if something is calcified, then it is going to stay that way. But if I can fix this through diet and not have the condition get worse over the next few years I want the credit to go to the diet - not to some pharmaceutical that I'm taking. I don't want to be stupid, but in as much as I've read there has been way too much faith placed in the effectiveness of statin drugs. Changing an LDL number is one thing. Reducing the risk of a heart attack is another. And the side effects of statins are something that I'd prefer not to deal with if not warranted.
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