Heart & Cardiology/Heart Scans


Hello Doctor~

I hope your day is blessed!!

I have a question involving heart scans for calcification.  My father had a heart attack at 45, and my brother had a fatal heart attack 45.  I recently (age 58) had a cholesterol level that had slightly elevated LDL's, my HDL was high, which made my ratio in the good range.  I am sorry, I do not have my exact numbers!!  My Family Practice Doc wanted me to start on medication due to my family history.  I told her I really didn't want to start meds, and she said if I went and had the heart scan for calcification and got all ZERO scores she would clear me!!  I did indeed get a perfect ZERO ( my college MO!!  😊 Kidding of course!!).

A cardiac nurse I was talking to told me that those scans hold NO WEIGHT in predicting heart disease, yet my Doctor told me at nearly 60 with a zero score I would be unlikely to suffer from heart disease.  My Dad and brother were both smokers, I have never been, and have consistently exercised my whole adult life.

Any thoughts on the validity of those tests??  Should I see a Cardiologist because of family history?

Thank you so much!!

Hi Deborah,
The calcium score has limited value other than demonstrating calcium, but if zero it is very unlikely you have Coronary Artery Disease. That said it is not a very useful test in my mind.
An evaluation for CAD should be based on symptoms and risk factors:
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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