Plaque on CT scan is strong predictor of heart disease, worse long-term outcomes

Mar 14, 2010

The presence of plaque on an abdominal CT scan is a strong predictor of coronary artery disease and mortality, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Researchers found that patients are nearly 60 percent at risk of having coronary artery disease when the CT scan showed very high levels of abdominal aortic calcium, commonly known as . High levels of the abdominal aortic calcium also increased their risk of dying, researchers say.

Conversely, researchers found that the lack of abdominal aortic calcium, or AAC, was associated with a low risk of coronary artery disease, a chronic, progressive form of heart disease that results from a buildup of plaque in the arteries found on the surface of the heart,.

The study is being presented Sunday, March 14 at the 59th annual American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in Atlanta.

"If you get a CT scan on your abdomen, there's probably a good chance that image can provide us with more information about the health of your heart arteries," says Mouaz Al-Mallah, M.D., director of Cardiac Imaging Research at Henry Ford and lead author of the study.

"This study clearly demonstrates that higher scores of abdominal aortic calcium are associated with higher rates of coronary artery disease and mortality."

Prior research has shown that coronary artery calcium found by computed or CT is strongly associated with coronary artery disease and mortality. However, little is known about the risk associated between AAC and coronary artery disease.

Henry Ford researchers studied 367 patients who underwent an abdominal CT and within one year between January 2004 and May 2009. Patients had a 58 percent risk of having with an AAC score over 1,000 compared to patients who had an 11 percent risk with an AAC score of zero. A high ACC score also was linked to a higher risk of .

"If you have heart disease and abdominal aortic calcifications, your chance of dying is higher than just having alone," Dr. Al-Mallah says.

Explore further: Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

Related Stories

Coronary calcium distribution tied to heart attack risk

May 27, 2008

A new calcium scoring method may better predict a person’s risk of heart attack, according to a new multicenter study published in the June issue of the journal Radiology. Calcium coverage scoring takes into account not on ...

Recommended for you

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

Jul 03, 2015

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

Jul 03, 2015

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

Jul 03, 2015

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

Jul 03, 2015

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.