(HealthDay News) — For middle-aged individuals, higher levels of coronary artery calcium (CAC) are associated with higher left ventricular (LV) mass and worse LV function, according to a study published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Guilherme S. Yared, MD, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the correlation of CAC in middle age and change in CAC from early adulthood to middle age with LV function. CAC score was measured by computed tomography in 3043 and 3189 participants at CARDIA study year-15 (Y15) and Y25 examinations, respectively.

The researchers found that higher CAC was related to higher LV mass, higher LV end-diastolic volume, higher LV end-systolic volume, higher left atrial volume, and higher E/e’ ratio in the multivariable analysis at Y25. During follow-up, greater change in CAC score was independently associated with higher LV mass index in blacks, but not whites, among 2449 individuals with CAC measurements at Y15 and Y25.

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“We looked at early adulthood to middle-age because this is a window in which we can see abnormalities that might not be causing symptoms, but could later increase the risk of heart problems,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Prevention and control of these abnormalities are key, so early identification of risks can be crucial.”


Yared GS, Moreira HT, Ambale-Venkatesh B, et al. Coronary Artery Calcium From Early Adulthood to Middle Age and Left Ventricular Structure and Function. Circu Cardiov Imag.
doi:10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.119.009228  2019;12