Implications of coronary artery calcium testing on risk stratification for lipid-lowering therapy according to the 2016 European Society of Cardiology recommendations: The MESA study

Marcio S. Bittencourt, Ron Blankstein, Michael J. Blaha, Veit Sandfort, Arthur S. Agatston, Matthew J. Budoff, Roger S. Blumenthal, Harlan M. Krumholz, Khurram Nasir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aims: The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guideline on cardiovascular risk assessment considers coronary artery calcium a class B indication for risk assessment. We evaluated the degree to which coronary artery calcium can change the recommendation for individuals based on a change in estimated risk. Methods and results: We stratified 5602 MESA participants according to the ESC recommendation as: no lipid-lowering treatment recommended (N = 2228), consider lipid-lowering treatment if uncontrolled (N = 1686), or lipid-lowering treatment recommended (N = 1688). We evaluated the ability of coronary artery calcium to reclassify cardiovascular risk. Among the selected sample, 54% had coronary artery calcium of zero, 25% had coronary artery calcium of 1-100 and 21% had coronary artery calcium greater than 100. In the lipid-lowering treatment recommended group 31% had coronary artery calcium of zero, while in the lipid-lowering treatment if uncontrolled group about 50% had coronary artery calcium of zero. The cardiovascular mortality rate was 1.7%/10 years in the lipid-lowering treatment if uncontrolled, and 7.0%/10 years in the lipid-lowering treatment recommended group. The absence of coronary artery calcium was associated with 1.4%/10 years in the lipid-lowering treatment if uncontrolled group and 3.0%/10 years in the lipid-lowering treatment recommended group. Compared with coronary artery calcium of zero, any coronary artery calcium was associated with significantly higher cardiovascular mortality in the lipidlowering treatment recommended group (9.0%/10 years), whereas only coronary artery calcium greater than 100 was significantly associated with a higher cardiovascular mortality in the lipid-lowering treatment if uncontrolled group (3.2%/10 years). Conclusion: The absence of coronary artery calcium is associated with a low incidence of cardiovascular mortality or coronary heart disease events even in individuals in whom lipid-lowering therapy is recommended. A significant proportion of individuals deemed to be candidates for lipid-lowering therapy might be reclassified to a lower risk group with the use of coronary artery calcium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1887-1898
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Volume25
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coronary artery calcium
  • Primary prevention
  • Risk stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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