My husband, 51, has a family history of diabetes and heart disease, and has been taking medication for diabetes and high cholesterol. He requested a ct angiogram and calcium score, to get an idea of how healthy his heart is. Well, he was shocked to be told 2 days ago that he has extensive heart disease, multiple blockages and a calcium score of 1400, which we are aware is extremely high. In the past he has had borderline high bp, high cholesterol and high sugar, all of which now seems to be under control. He also had iron overload, which has come down to around 350 - from 1100.
The gp sent the test results to a cardiologist, assuming that he would need angioplasty, but the cardiologist said no, and has ordered a stress test which he is doing tomorow, before anything invasive.
My concern is that with such a high calcium score, even if his result comes back from the stress test ok, isn't he in an extremely risky position? I don't understand why they aren't doing further tests to see how much of a blockage is evident - apparently with such a high calcium result, it distorts the images for the angiogram. What if he has heart attack in the meantime?
The doctor said if his stress test is alright, they will aggressively treat the diabetes and cholesterol. I'm assuming that means drugs, diet and exercise. My husband is so stressed and worried, as I am, and we are both very frightened. We have 5 children, young children, and I am worried for our future.
Has anyone had a similar experience and is willing to share? Thank you.
It seems he passed the stress test, without much effort, but has been given a huge fright by the physican doctor. He began his consultation by pompously asking why he did the ct angiogram in the first place? Saying that all it did was point out the obvious, that he is at significant, extreme high risk of a heart attack. And that he had obviously failed to get this point across three years ago when he first saw my husband. He said the only thing he's surprised about is that he hasn't yet had a heart attack. He then tore strips off him about his blood sugar level, his tryglycerides level and basically said, get off the alcohol as "with your profile, it will significantly raise bad cholesterol" exercise most days to raise a sweat and diet is absolutely imperative. So basically it's scared the hell out of him. Apparently the stress test showed, I think, with 90% accuracy ?? that he doesn't have any arteries blocked more than 70% and no angina. He actually did it quite easily, he said. His bp was 140/90 during exercise and 140/80 when he first arrived. He also mentioned the risk of pancreatitis - alcohol and diabetes bad combination. He finished everything off by saying he thinks that my husband is like a barking dog, yapping and reacting, but doesn't have the guts to see it through and that he only listens to the first part of a sentence. It was pretty full on and the doctor didn't hold back. Hopefully it has sunk in. I think my husband's already lost about 3kgs over the past week, he has not touched a drink for a week and he is eating fruit, veges and fish chicken and grainy burgen bread. Plus he's started exercising. I swear he looks better already.
So hopefull we can reverse the damage and all will be well. I think what has hit me is that his advice is basically common sense, everyone should be eating this way, and exercising. I'm not at all overweight but I think I'll benefit from an improved diet too.