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Biomed Environ Sci. 2019 Feb;32(2):75-86. doi: 10.3967/bes2019.012.

Association between Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaque Composition and Cardiovascular Disease Risk.

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National Clinical Research Center for Metabolic Diseases, Shanghai Institute of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, and Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Rui-Jin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China.



The objective of this study is to determine whether coronary atherosclerotic plaque composition is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in Chinese adults.


We performed a cross-sectional analysis in 549 subjects without previous diagnosis or clinical symptoms of CVD in a community cohort of middle-aged Chinese adults. The participants underwent coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography for the evaluation of the presence and composition of coronary plaques. CVD risk was evaluated by the Framingham risk score (FRS) and the 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk score.


Among the 549 participants, 267 (48.6%) had no coronary plaques, 201 (36.6%) had noncalcified coronary plaques, and 81 (14.8%) had calcified or mixed coronary plaques. The measures of CVD risk including FRS and ASCVD risk score and the likelihood of having elevated FRS significantly increased across the groups of participants without coronary plaques, with noncalcified coronary plaques, and with calcified or mixed coronary plaques. However, only calcified or mixed coronary plaques were significantly associated with an elevated ASCVD risk score [odds ratio (OR) 2.41; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09-5.32] compared with no coronary plaques, whereas no significant association was found for noncalcified coronary plaques and elevated ASCVD risk score (OR 1.25; 95% CI 0.71-2.21) after multivariable adjustment.


Calcified or mixed coronary plaques might be more associated with an elevated likelihood of having CVD than noncalcified coronary plaques.


10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk score; Coronary plaque composition; Framingham risk score

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