There is a need for awareness about subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with diabetes and the effects of coronary artery calcium (CAC) in subpopulations of patients. This according to a recent study that examined the association of cardiovascular disease risk factors with, and their cumulative effect on, CAC in hard-to-reach asymptomatic patients with diabetes. A total of 2,563 community-dwelling asymptomatic subjects from Central Appalachia participated in CAC screening at a heart center. Researchers found:
- In total, 55.8% and 13.7% of study participants had subclinical atherosclerosis (CAC ≥1) and diabetes, respectively.
- The presence of CAC was higher in subjects with diabetes (68.5%) than those without (53.8%).
- Compared to subjects without diabetes with CAC=0, obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and smoking increased the odds of the presence of CAC (CAC score ≥1) regardless of diabetes status; however, with larger odds ratios in subjects with diabetes.
- Compared to subjects without diabetes with CAC score=0, having 3, 4, and ≥5 risk factors increased the odds of presence of CAC in subjects with diabetes by 14.06, 32.30, and 47.12 times, respectively.
Mamudu HM, Alamian A, Paul T, et al. Diabetes, subclinical atherosclerosis and multiple cardiovascular risk factors in hard-to-reach asymptomatic patients. [Published online ahead of print August 16, 2018]. Diab Vasc Dis Res. doi:10.1177/1479164118791654.