"You can't reduce coronary plaque" 10. May 2009 William Davis (9) "I told my cardiologst that I stumbled on a program called 'Track Your Plaque' that claims to be able to help reduce your coronary calcium score."My cardiologist said, 'That's impossible. You cannot reduce coronary plaque. I've never seen anyone reduce a heart scan score." Who's right here? The commenter is right; the cardiologist is wrong. I would predict that the cardiologist is among the conventionally-thinking, "statins drugs are the only solution" group who follows his patients over the years to determine when a procedure is finally "needed." In fact, I know many of these cardiologists personally. The primary care physicians are completely in the dark, usually expressing an attitude of helplessness and submitting to the "wisdom" of their cardiology consultants. Quantify and work to reduce the atherosclerotic plaque? No way! That's work, requires thinking, some sophisticated testing (like lipoprotein testing), even some new ideas like vitamin D. "They didn't teach that to me in medical school (back in 1980)!" Welcome to the new age. Atherosclerotic plaque is 1) measurable, 2) trackable, and 3) can be reduced. We do it all the time. (Amy still holds our record: 63% reduction in plaque/heart scan score.) Though I pooh-pooh the value of statin drug studies, there's even data from the conventional statin world documenting coronary plaque reversal. The ASTEROID Trial of rosuvastatin (Crestor), 40 mg per day for one year, demonstrated 7% reduction of atherosclerotic plaque using intracoronary ultrasound.I have NEVER seen a heart attack or appearance of heart symptoms (angina, unstable angina) in a person who has reversed coronary plaque (unless, of course, they pitched the whole effort and returned to bad habits--that has happened). Stick to the program and coronary risk, for all practical purposes, been eliminated. A heart scan score is not a death sentence. It is simply a tool to empower your prevention program, a measuring stick to gauge plaque progression, stabilization, or regression. Don't accept anything less.