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Heart Vessels. 2014 Nov;29(6):776-83. doi: 10.1007/s00380-013-0433-z. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Mitral and aortic valve sclerosis/calcification and carotid atherosclerosis: results from 1065 patients.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Medicina, Sezione di Cardiologia, University of Verona, Verona, Italy,


This study assesses whether aortic valve sclerosis (AVS) and mitral annulus calcification (MAC) are associated with carotid artery atherosclerosis, independently of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. A total of 1065 patients underwent both echocardiography and carotid artery ultrasound scanning. AVS and MAC were defined as focal areas of increased echogenicity and thickening of the aortic leaflets or mitral valve annulus. Carotid artery atherosclerosis was defined as presence/absence of any atherosclerotic plaque or presence/absence of plaque >50 %. Of 1065 patients (65 ± 9 years; 38 % female) who comprised the study population, 642 (60 %) had at least one atherosclerotic plaque. AVS, but not mitral valve sclerosis; was associated with the presence of carotid atherosclerosis (odds ratio (OR) 1.9, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.2-3.9; P = 0.005) and the degree of carotid atherosclerosis (OR 2.1, 95 % CI 1.2-3.9; P = 0.01) in a multivariate model including age, gender, previous ischemic heart disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, smoking, diabetes, family cardiovascular history, left ventricular size, mass, and ejection fraction, and left atrial size. AVS is a significant predictor of carotid atherosclerosis, independently of other cardiovascular clinical and echocardiographic risk factors.

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