Nearly half with high BP maintain long-term absence of coronary artery calcium, significantly lowering cardiovascular risk

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Nearly half of individuals with high blood pressure (BP) maintain a long-term absence of coronary artery calcium (CAC), which is a key indicator of healthy arterial aging and a lower risk of cardiovascular events, according to a study.

The study analyzed data from 830 patients with high BP, aged 59.4 ± 8.7 years, who had baseline CAC levels of 0 and underwent a second CAC scanning after a 10-year period.

The results showed that 46.5% of participants (n = 386) maintained CAC = 0 during the follow-up period. This group was found to be younger and had fewer components of metabolic syndrome.

Furthermore, the study demonstrated that individuals who maintained long-term CAC = 0 had a significantly lower risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events compared to those who developed incident CAC.

In addition, the researchers investigated the predictive value of various risk factors for ASCVD in relation to long-term CAC = 0. By incorporating ASCVD risk factors into the demographic model (age, sex, and ethnicity), the predictive value for long-term CAC = 0 was moderately increased. This improvement was indicated by a higher area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, suggesting that the inclusion of overall ASCVD risk factors can enhance the accuracy of predicting healthy arterial aging in this population.

You S, Gao JW, Zhang HF, et al. Predictors of long-term absence of coronary artery calcium in individuals with high blood pressure: results from the MESA study. Ann Med. 2023;55(1):2209334. doi: 10.1080/07853890.2023.2209334. PMID: 37155413; PMCID: PMC10167869.