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How can I tell if my statin is working?

December 1, 2021

On call


Q. I recently had a repeat coronary artery calcium scan, and the score was about the same. I take a statin and thought the score would go down. Does this mean the statin isn’t working?

A. A coronary artery calcium (CAC) scan measures the amount of calcium in the walls of your heart’s arteries. Calcium in the bloodstream makes its way into most of the fatty deposits called plaques that sit in your coronary arteries. So, the amount of calcium in the walls of your heart’s arteries reflects how much plaque accumulation you have. While the CAC score provides important information, it doesn’t tell the whole story. It can miss the softer uncalcified plaques, which have a more significant influence on heart attack risk.

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