Higher cal­cium lev­els may pre­dict heart dis­ease

Iran Daily - - Health -

Specks of cal­cium in the heart’s artery walls could sig­nal early risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, par­tic­u­larly in men from South Asian coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­dia, and may help de­velop treat­ment meth­ods, re­searchers say. Ac­cord­ing to the team from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia-san Fran­cisco (UCSF), peo­ple from South Asia are known to have a high chance of de­vel­op­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and rep­re­sent more than 60 per­cent of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease pa­tients world­wide, dai­ly­p­i­oneer.com wrote.

They also de­velop risk fac­tors such as high blood pres­sure, choles­terol and diabetes at a younger age than other ra­cial and eth­nic groups. How­ever, it re­mains un­clear which clin­i­cal fac­tors could help de­ter­mine those at high­est risk.

Fur­ther, South Asian men (8.8 per­cent) were found to have a higher rate of cal­ci­fi­ca­tion than their women (3.6 per­cent) coun­ter­parts.

“The pres­ence and change of coro­nary artery cal­cium may be use­ful for risk pre­dic­tion in this eth­nic pop­u­la­tion and may bet­ter guide the ju­di­cious use of statin and other pre­ven­tive ther­a­pies,” said lead au­thor Alka Kanaya, Pro­fes­sor at UCSF.

For the study, ap­pear­ing in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion (JAHA), the team fo­cused on nearly 700 pa­tients with eth­nic back­grounds from In­dia, Pak­istan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan and found that South Asian men had the same high rates of change in cal­ci­fi­ca­tion of their artery walls over a five-year pe­riod as white men — the group with the high­est rates of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

Coro­nary (CAC) artery cal­ci­fi­ca­tion is the buildup of cal­cium in the ar­ter­ies which can cause blood ves­sels to nar­row and lead to the de­vel­op­ment of heart dis­ease. Early signs of CAC, in which cal­cium specks ap­pear in artery walls, can be de­tected through a com­puted to­mog­ra­phy (CT) scan.

The Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion re­cently rec­om­mended CAC test­ing in in­di­vid­u­als with in­ter­me­di­ate heart dis­ease risk to help de­ter­mine whether they should be treated with choles­terol-low­er­ing med­i­ca­tions.


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