Calcified carotid artery atheromas in panoramic radiographs are associated with a first myocardial infarction: a case-control study

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ObjectiveThe aim of this case-control study was to investigate whether patients with a first myocardial infarction (MI) had a higher prevalence of calcified carotid artery atheromas (CCAAs) on panoramic radiographs (PRs) than age-, gender-, and residential area–matched controls without MI.Study DesignSix hundred ninety-six cases with a first MI and 696 controls were included in this substudy of the Swedish multicentre PAROKRANK study. All participants underwent panoramic radiography, and the PRs were evaluated for CCAAs.ResultsThe prevalence of CCAAs detected by PR was 33.8% (235 of 696) in cases and 27.6% (192 of 696) in controls (odds ratio [OR] 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.44; P = .012). Among males, 32.7% of cases (184 of 562) and 26.5% of controls (149 of 562) displayed CCAAs on PRs (OR 1.24; 95% CI 1.03-1.48; P = .022). Among both genders, bilateral CCAAs were significantly more common among cases than among controls (P = .002).ConclusionsCases with recent MIs had a significantly higher prevalence of CCAAs on PRs compared with controls without MIs. This difference between groups was more pronounced for bilateral CCAAs. These findings supported the hypothesis that CCAA detection could serve as a risk indicator for future MIs.

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