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Abdominal Aortic Calcium Linked ...

Posted Aug 06 2009 10:25pm
Abdominal Aortic Calcium Linked to Coronary Calcium

High coronary artery calcium more likely with high abdominal aortic calcium

06 aug 2009-- High levels of abdominal aortic calcium (AAC) are strongly associated with high levels of coronary artery calcium (CAC), according to a study in the August 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

John T. Schousboe, M.D., from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, and colleagues examined the association between AAC on lateral spine bone densitometry (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry images intended for vertebral fracture assessment) and CAC (by electron beam computed tomography) in 106 individuals with no history of heart disease.

After adjusting for demographic and clinical factors, the researchers found that a higher CAC score was more likely for individuals with a high AAC score (odds ratios, 6.42 using a 24-point AAC score and 3.38 using an eight-point AAC score for the top versus the bottom tertile). A high CAC score (400 or more) could be predicted with 65 percent sensitivity and 70 percent specificity using a 24-point AAC score of five or more, or with 45 percent sensitivity and 78 percent specificity using an eight-point AAC score of three more.

"In conclusion, a high level of AAC on lateral spine dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was strongly associated with coronary artery disease and might be commonly encountered because bone densitometry is indicated for all women aged 65 years and older and all men aged 70 years and older," Schousboe and colleagues write. "Its presence should be reported to the patient's physician to identify and manage modifiable risk factors."

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