Using Coronary Artery Calcium to Predict Cardiovascular Events in COPD

CAC Score Atherosclerosis
CAC Score Atherosclerosis
Coronary artery calcium may be the best noninvasive risk marker for predicting cardiovascular events in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Coronary artery calcium (CAC) may be the best noninvasive risk marker for predicting a major cardiovascular event in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published in Respiratory Research.

Researchers prospectively evaluated 287 individuals with COPD and a history of current or past smoking of at least 10 pack years for a median of 65 months to evaluate the prognostic value of noninvasive risk markers in patients with COPD. 

A univariable analysis demonstrated that age, hypertension, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, C-reactive protein levels, and coronary calcium score were all noninvasive CV risk markers independently associated with the risk for a major CV event with P values of .001. 

However, the multivariable analysis demonstrated CAC as measured by a low-dose chest computed tomography scan was best for independently predicting the risk for a major cardiovascular event in patients with COPD compared with the Framingham score (hazard ratio; 95% CI, 1.32; 1.19-1.46, P <.001).   

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The investigators concluded that clinicians should consider incorporating CAC levels to identify patients at high risk for a major cardiovascular event.

Reference

Zagaceta J, Bastarrika G, Zulueta J, et al.  Prospective comparison of non-invasive risk markers of major cardiovascular events in COPD patients. Respir Res.  2017;18(1):175.