Potential Implications of Coronary Artery Calcium Testing for Guiding Aspirin Use Among Asymptomatic Individuals With Diabetes

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

It is unclear whether coronary artery calcium (CAC) is effective for risk stratifying patients with diabetes in whom treatment decisions are uncertain.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

Of 44,052 asymptomatic individuals referred for CAC testing, we studied 2,384 individuals with diabetes. Subjects were followed for a mean of 5.6 ± 2.6 years for the end point of all-cause mortality.

RESULTS

There were 162 deaths (6.8%) in the population. CAC was a strong predictor of mortality across age-groups (age <50, 50–59, ≥60), sex, and risk factor burden (0 vs. ≥1 additional risk factor). In individuals without a clear indication for aspirin per current guidelines, CAC stratified risk, identifying patients above and below the 10% risk threshold of presumed aspirin benefit.

CONCLUSIONS

CAC can help risk stratify individuals with diabetes and may aid in selection of patients who may benefit from therapies such as low-dose aspirin for primary prevention.

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