Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is an X-ray test that looks for specks of calcium in the walls of the coronary arteries. These specks of calcium are called calcifications and are an early warning sign of coronary artery disease (CAD). A new study has revealed that CAC could help doctors identify if you are at risk of dying over the next 15 years.
For the study, the researcher team collected and assessed CAC scores and risk factor data taken from 9,715 study participants between the years 1996 and 1999. The patients showed no symptoms of CAD at the time of the scans. The researchers found that the CAC score accurately predicted all-cause mortality up to 15 years in the asymptomatic patients.
Lead researcher Leslee Shaw, professor of cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine in the US, said, "These findings give us a better understanding of the importance of coronary calcium scans to predict mortality. Patients with high calcium scores might be advised by their physicians to adopt healthier lifestyles, which could lead to better outcomes and potentially help lengthen their lives."
The study has been published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.