Coronary Artery Calcium Found in 1/3 Women Designated “Low-Risk’ Interview with:


Dr. Maryam Kavousi

Maryam Kavousi MD, PhD, FESC
Assistant Professor
Department of Epidemiology
Erasmus University Medical Center
Rotterdam The Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The most recent American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention guidelines recommend statins for a larger proportion of populations.

Notably, a large group of women are categorized as low CVD risk by the guidelines and would therefore not typically qualify for intensive management of their standard risk factors. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) scanning allows for the detection of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis and is viewed as the vessel’s memory of lifetime exposure to risk factors. We therefore aimed to address the utility of CAC as a potential tool for refining CVD risk assessment in asymptomatic women at low CVD risk based on the new guidelines.

This study involved data on 6,739 low-risk women from 5 population-based cohort studies across the United States and Europe. We found that CAC was present in 36% of low-risk women and was associated with increased risk of CVD. Continue reading

Calcium Scores: Predictive Of Heart Disease Death Even In Low Risk Adults

Rine Nakanishi, MD, PhD Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute Interview with:

Rine Nakanishi, MD, PhD
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Nakanishi: With growing evidence that a measurement of the buildup of calcium in
coronary arteries can predict heart disease risk, Los Angeles Biomedical
Research Institute (LA BioMed) researchers found that the process of
“calcium scoring” was also accurate in predicting the chances of dying among
adults with little or no traditional risk factor of heart disease.

The study conducted by LA BioMed researchers examined 5,593 adults with no
known heart disease and zero or minimal risk factor of heart disease —
including hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, current smoking and family
history of heart disease — who had undergone coronary artery calcium
screening by non-contrast cardiac computed tomography from 1991-2011.

Among the adults in the study, even those with low coronary artery calcium
scores of 1-99 were 50% more likely to die of heart disease than adults with
a calcium score of zero. Adults with moderate scores of 100-399 were 80%
more likely to die from heart disease than those with a score of zero, and
those with scores of 400 or more were three times more likely to die from
heart disease, when compared to adults with no calcified plaque buildup, or
a score of zero.
Continue reading