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Circulation. 2003 May 27;107(20):2571-6. Epub 2003 May 12.

Electron-beam tomography coronary artery calcium and cardiac events: a 37-month follow-up of 5635 initially asymptomatic low- to intermediate-risk adults.

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1
Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine (MC 715), University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, 840 S Wood St, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. gtkondos@uic.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Conventional coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors fail to explain nearly 50% of CAD events. This study examines the association between electron-beam tomography (EBT) coronary artery calcium (CAC) and cardiac events in initially asymptomatic low- to intermediate-risk individuals, with adjustment for the presence of hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, and a history of cigarette smoking.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The study was performed in 8855 initially asymptomatic adults 30 to 76 years old (26% women) who self-referred for EBT CAC screening. Conventional CAD risk factors were elicited by use of a questionnaire. After 37+/-12 months, information on the occurrence of cardiac events was collected and confirmed by use of medical records and death certificates. In men, events (n=192) were associated with the presence of CAC (RR=10.5, P<0.001), diabetes (RR=1.98, P=0.008), and smoking (RR=1.4, P=0.025), whereas in women, events (n=32) were linked to the presence of CAC (RR=2.6, P=0.037) and not risk factors. The presence of CAC provided incremental prognostic information in addition to age and other risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

The association between EBT CAC and cardiac events observed in this study of initially asymptomatic, middle-aged, low to intermediate-risk individuals presenting for screening suggests that in this group, knowledge of the presence of EBT CAC provides incremental information in addition to that defined by conventional CAD risk assessment.

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