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Ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attack events and carotid artery disease in the absence of or with minimal coronary artery calcification: Results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
Background and aims: The association between minimally elevated coronary artery calcification (CAC) and cerebrovascular disease is not well known. We assessed whether individuals with minimal CAC (Agatston scores of 1e10) have higher ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) frequencies compared with those with no CAC.We also investigated the relative prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis in these two groups.
Methods: A total of 3924 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) without previous cardiovascular events, including stroke, and with baseline CAC scores of 0e10 were followed for the occurrence of incident ischemic stroke/TIA. We used carotid ultrasound to detect carotid artery plaques and to measure the intima-media thickness (IMT).
Results: During a median follow-up of 13.2 years, 130 participants developed incident ischemic stroke/ TIA. There was no significant difference in the ischemic stroke/TIA incidence between those with minimal CAC and no CAC (3.7 versus 2.7 per 1000 person-years). In participants with minimal CAC, we observed a significant association of the condition with an internal carotid artery (ICA) that had a greaterthan- average IMT (ICA-IMT; β ¼ 0.071, p ¼ 0.001) and a higher odds ratio (OR) for carotid artery plaques (OR 1.46; with a 95% confidence interval [CI] of 1.18e1.80; p < 0.001).
Conclusions: A CAC score of 0e10 is associated with a low rate of ischemic stroke/TIA, and thus a minimal CAC score is not a valuable predictive marker for ischemic stroke/TIA. A minimal CAC score may, however, provide an early and asymptomatic sign of carotid artery disease.
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
Place of publicationIreland
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