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Coronary Artery Calcium Score May Predict Mortality Risk

Higher coronary artery calcium scores may predict mortality risk in patients with diabetes

THURSDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A higher coronary artery calcium (CAC) score may be an independent predictor of mortality in patients with diabetes, according to a study published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

Subhashish Agarwal, M.D. from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues investigated whether the CAC score provides additional information about total mortality risk in patients with diabetes, beyond that provided by traditional risk factors. A total of 1,051 participants from the Diabetes Heart Study were followed for 7.4 years. The participants, between the ages of 34 and 86 years, were divided into five groups using baseline computed tomography scans and CAC scores (0 to 9, 10 to 99, 100 to 299, 300 to 999, and 1,000 or more). The correlation between CAC and all-cause mortality was analyzed, after adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

The investigators found that 17 percent of participants died during the follow-up period. Using CAC 0 to 9 as a reference, the odds ratio (OR) for all-cause mortality with a CAC score of 10 to 99 was not significantly increased. The OR for all-cause mortality increased as CAC values increased above 100 (CAC 100 to 299, 2.87; CAC 300 to 999, 3.04; and CAC 1,000 or more, 6.71).

"Coronary artery calcification can serve as a tool for risk stratification in a high-risk population of patients with diabetes," the authors write.

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