“We found that 15 percent of people believed to be at very low risk actually had high coronary artery calcium scores above 100 and were at relatively high risk of a cardiac event over the next seven years,” says Roger Blumenthal, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center, who is a co-author of the study.
Coronary artery calcium testing trumps cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and other risk factors in predicting heart attacks and deaths
A new study shows that coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening, an assessment tool that is not currently recommended for people considered at low risk, should play a more prominent role in helping determine a person’s risk for heart attack and heart disease-related death, as well as the need for angioplasty or bypass surgery. CAC screening provides a direct measure of calcium deposits in heart arteries and is easily obtained on a computed tomography (CT) scan.
“We showed that by using only the traditional risk factors, we miss a significant percentage of individuals at high risk. We may also be over-treating a large number of people who can safely avoid lifelong treatment,” says lead author Michael G. Silverman, M.D., who formerly worked at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention…
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