Who Should Get a Coronary Artery Calcium Scan?

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The calcium scan should be done on almost everybody after the age of 45, men a little bit earlier, women when they're postmenopause. If there is a family history of heart disease, we sometimes recommend it in the 30s or even in the 20s, but almost everybody should eventually have a heart scan to determine their risk of future heart attack.

Today our national guidelines are quite frankly somewhat misguided. They are recommending that millions more Americans should take a statin for high cholesterol, and in fact if you don't have any pluck on the CAT-scan, on the calcium score, we call it the power of zero. If you have a zero score, it doesn't matter what your cholesterol is, you do not need to be on a statin and right now that's about a third of Americans who are on Statins who could be off the Statins if they have the calcium score and have a zero.