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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995 Jan;25(1):76-82.

Influence of age and gender on the presence of coronary calcium detected by ultrafast computed tomography.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago.



This study sought to determine the relation between coronary calcification detected with ultrafast computed tomography and lumen narrowing defined with angiography and evaluated whether this relation is influenced by age and gender.


Ultrafast computed tomography has been shown to be a sensitive method for detection of coronary calcification associated with atherosclerotic disease, but the relation between the extent of coronary calcification and degree of lumen narrowing and the possible influence of gender or age, or both, on this relation have not been clarified.


Seventy men and 70 women were studied with ultrafast computed tomography for analysis of coronary calcification and coronary angiography. Coronary atherosclerosis was considered present if any lumen irregularity was noted on angiography, and obstructive coronary artery disease was defined as a lumen diameter narrowing > or = 70%.


Coronary calcification had a sensitivity of 88% for identification of patients with atherosclerotic disease and 97% for those with obstructive disease, with corresponding specificities of 55% and 41%, respectively. The sensitivity of coronary calcium for detection of atherosclerotic disease in women < 60 years old was 50%, significantly less than the 97% sensitivity in women > 60 years old and the 87% sensitivity in men < 60 years old (p < 0.05 for each comparison). Logistic regression analysis revealed a 1.81-fold increase in the likelihood of detecting coronary calcification in the atherosclerotic lesions of men compared with those in women (95% confidence interval 1.12 to 2.93, p = 0.016) when controlled for age and severity of coronary disease by angiography.


Atherosclerotic lesions in women are less likely to have coronary calcium than lesions with a similar degree of lumen narrowing in men. Differences in the pattern of coronary calcification between men and women may provide insight into the gender differences observed in the clinical development of symptomatic coronary artery disease.

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