Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and a major cause of morbidity. Coronary heart disease (CHD) accounts for nearly half of all CVD deaths. Currently estimation of risk in primary prevention is based on the Framingham risk equations, which inputs traditional risk factors and is helpful in predicting the development of CHD in asymptomatic individuals. However many individuals suffer events in the absence of established risk factors for atherosclerosis and broad based population risk estimations may have little precision when applied to a given individual. To meet the challenge of CHD risk assessment, several tools have been developed to identify atherosclerotic disease in its preclinical stages. This paper aims to incorporate information from coronary artery calcification (CAC) scoring from a computed tomographic "heartscan" (using Electron Beam Tomography (EBT) as the validated prototype) along with current Framingham risk profiling in order to refine risk on an absolute scale by combining imaging and clinical data to affect a more comprehensive calculation of absolute risk in a given individual. For CAC scores above the 75th percentile but < 90th percentile, 10 years is added to chronological age, and for CAC scores above the 90th percentile, 20 years is added to current chronological age. Among those in whom a positive CAC score is the norm such as older individuals (men ≥ 55 years, women ≥ 65 years) a CAC = 0 will result in an age point score corresponding to the age-group whose median CAC score is zero i.e., 40-44 years for men and 55-59 years for women. The utilization of CAC scores allows the inclusion of sub-clinical disease definition into the context of modifiable risk factors as well as identifies high-risk individuals requiring aggressive treatment.
- Computed tomographic coronary artery calcium score
- Coronary risk determination
- Framingham risk profiling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine