CAC Score Can Have Long-Term Prognostic Utility
(HealthDay News) — A zero coronary artery calcium (CAC) score has long-term prognostic utility, with CAC presence an independent predictor of mortality, according to a study published online July 15 in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.
Valentina Valenti, MD, from the Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging in New York City, and colleagues examined long-term prognosis of a zero CAC score among asymptomatic individuals. Data were included for 9,715 individuals undergoing CAC imaging who were followed for a mean of 14.6 years. Individuals were stratified by age, Framingham Risk Score (FRS) and National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) categories.
The researchers identified 229 deaths among 4,864 individuals with baseline CAC=0. For individuals at low and intermediate risk, the warranty period of CAC=0 was almost 15 years, with no significant differences based on age or gender. For individuals aged 50–59, 60–69, 70–79, and ≥80 years, CAC=0 was associated with a vascular age of one, 10, 20, and 30 years below chronologic age, respectively. CAC score was the strongest predictor of death (hazard ratio, 2.67), allowing consistent reclassification beyond FRS and NCEP ATP III (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.71 vs. 0.64 and 0.72 vs. 0.64, respectively; both P<0.001).
"CAC=0 confers a 15-year warranty period against mortality among individuals at low-to-intermediate risk, which is unaffected by age or gender," the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the health care, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries.