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Eur Heart J. 2002 Oct;23(20):1596-1603.

Coronary calcification detected by electron-beam computed tomography and myocardial infarction. The Rotterdam Coronary Calcification Study.

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Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



Available data are insufficient to determine the relation between coronary calcification and coronary events in the general population. We cross-sectionally examined the association between coronary calcification and myocardial infarction in the prospective Rotterdam Coronary Calcification Study.


From 1997 onwards, subjects were invited for electron-beam computed tomography scanning to detect coronary calcification. The study was embedded in the population-based Rotterdam Study. Calcifications were quantified in a calcium score according to Agatston's method. Calcium scores were available for 2,013 participants with a mean age of 71 years (standard deviation, 5.7 years). A history of myocardial infarction prior to scanning was present in 229 subjects. Compared to subjects in the lowest calcium score category (0-100), the age-adjusted odds ratio for myocardial infarction in subjects in the highest calcium score category (above 2,000) was 7.7 (95% confidence interval, 4.1-14.5) for men, and 6.7 (95% confidence interval, 2.4-19.1) for women. Additional adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors only slightly altered the estimates. The association was observed across all age subgroups, i.e. also in subjects of 70 years and older.


A strong and graded association was found between coronary calcification and myocardial infarction. The association remained at high ages.

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