Subclinical atherosclerosis and relationship with risk factors of coronary artery disease in a rural population

Hadii M. Mamudu, Timir Paul, Sreenivas P. Veeranki, Liang Wang, Hemang B. Panchal, Matthew Budoff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    Background: Annually, over 150,000 cardiovascular events occur among individuals ,65 years old in the United States, including asymptomatic ones. Coronary artery calcium (CAC), a subclinical marker of coronary artery disease (CAD), enhances risk stratification among asymptomatic individuals. This study assessed the prevalence of CAC in a rural population and determined relationships between traditional risk factors for CAD and CAC scores. Methods: During January 2011 to December 2012, asymptomatic individuals from central Appalachia were screened for CAC in the largest tertiary cardiovascular institute. Based on Agatston scale, participants were grouped into 4 CAC scores: zero (CAC 5 0), mild (CAC 5 1-99), moderate (CAC 5 100-399) and severe (CAC $ 400). Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine associations between potential risk factors of CAD and CAC score. Results: Of 1,674 participants, 55.4% had positive CAC score (CAC . 0). Increasing age and being male were positively associated with higher CAC scores. Although there was significant association between mild CAC and hypertension and family history of CAD, moderate CAC was positively associated with smoking status. Except hypercholesterolemia and sedentary lifestyle, severe CAC was significantly associated with major health conditions (obesity, diabetes and hypertension), lifestyle (smoking) and family history of CAD. Conclusions: More than half of participants in the CAC screening had subclinical CAD (CAC score . 0). The association between CAC score and CAD risk factors suggests that education about subclinical atherosclerosis among asymptomatic individuals in this region with high cardiovascular disease prevalence is needed because CAC improves CAD risk stratification, and the knowledge of CAC enhances medication adherence and motivates individuals towards beneficial behavioral/lifestyle modification.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)257-262
    Number of pages6
    JournalAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 2015


    • Cardiovascular risk factors
    • Coronary artery calcium
    • Rural
    • Subclinical atherosclerosis
    • Subclinical marker

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine


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