Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the association of coronary artery calcification (CAC) with incident heart failure in the elderly and examine its independence of overt coronary heart disease (CHD). Background: Heart failure is often observed as a first manifestation of coronary atherosclerosis rather than a sequela of overt CHD. Although numerous studies have shown that CAC, an established measure of coronary atherosclerosis, is a strong predictor of CHD, the association between CAC and future heart failure has not been studied prospectively. Methods: In the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort, 1,897 asymptomatic participants (mean age, 69.9 years; 58% women) underwent CAC scoring and were followed for the occurrence of heart failure and CHD. Results: During a median follow-up of 6.8 years, there were 78 cases of heart failure and 76 cases of nonfatal CHD. After adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors, increasing CAC scores were associated with heart failure (p for trend = 0.001), with a hazard ratio of 4.1 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.7 to 10.1) for CAC scores >400 compared with CAC scores of 0 to 10. After censoring participants for incident nonfatal CHD, increasing extent of CAC remained associated with heart failure (p for trend = 0.046), with a hazard ratio of 2.9 (95% CI: 1.1 to 7.4) for CAC scores >400. Moreover, adding CAC to cardiovascular risk factors resulted in an optimism-corrected increase in the c-statistic by 0.030 (95% CI: 0.001 to 0.050) to 0.734 (95% CI: 0.698 to 0.770) and substantially improved the risk classification of subjects (continuous net reclassification index = 34.0%). Conclusions: CAC has a clear association with the risk of heart failure, independent of overt CHD. Because heart failure is highly prevalent in the elderly, it might be worthwhile to include heart failure as an outcome in future risk assessment programs incorporating CAC.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmg.2012.03.016, hdl.handle.net/1765/64360
JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Leening, M., Elias-Smale, S., Kavousi, M., Felix, J., Deckers, J., Vliegenthart, R., … Witteman, J. (2012). Coronary calcification and the risk of heart failure in the elderly: The Rotterdam study. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, 5(9), 874–880. doi:10.1016/j.jcmg.2012.03.016