High calcium levels in coronary arteries up the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome, suggests study.
The study led by UC Irvine's Heart Disease Prevention Program, involved 6,600 people ages 45 to 84.
The results showed that whereas 16 percent were diabetic -primarily type 2, another 25 percent had metabolic syndrome, a combination of disorders that can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
"Our study points out that there's a wide range in risk for cardiovascular consequences seen in persons with metabolic syndrome and diabetes and that screening of coronary calcium by heart scans - and, to a lesser extent, carotid arteries by ultrasound - may be helpful in picking out those most vulnerable," said Nathan Wong, UCI professor of medicine, director of the Heart Disease Prevention Program and senior author of the study.
"Our findings also suggest that individuals with significantly high levels of coronary calcium or carotid wall thickness should receive more aggressive monitoring and treatment for any associated risk factors," added co-author Dr. Shaista Malik, a UCI cardiologist.