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Plaque on abdominal CT scan linked to increased risk of heart disease

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Plaque on abdominal CT scan linked to increased risk of heart diseaseResults of a new study suggest that the existence of plaque on an abdominal CT scan is linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease and mortality.

In the study, researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital monitored 376 patients who underwent a cardiac catheterization and an abdominal CT scan over a five-year period. After 27 months of follow-up, the research team found that patients with very high levels of abdominal aortic calcium (AAC) had a 58 percent risk of developing coronary artery disease.

Conversely, respondents with low levels of AAC had only an 11 percent risk of heart disease and a significantly reduced risk of mortality.

"If you get a CT scan on your abdomen, there's probably a good chance that image can provide us with more information about the health of your heart arteries," said lead author Mouaz Al-Mallah, director of cardiac imaging research at the hospital.

"This study clearly demonstrates that higher scores of abdominal aortic calcium are associated with higher rates of coronary artery disease and mortality," he added.

However, the researchers stress that their findings must be validated in a larger group before AAC can be confirmed as a true risk factor of heart disease, TheHeart.org reports.
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