Background and Objectives: Coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring in the asymptomatic population can improve cardiovascular risk prediction. We aimed to assess CAC progression and the impact of coronary risk factors on the CAC progression rate in asymptomatic Korean individuals with a baseline CAC score of zero. Methods: The study population was derived from the Korea Initiatives on Coronary Artery Calcification (KOICA) registry: a retrospective, single ethnicity, multicenter registry of asymptomatic individuals who underwent CAC scoring as a part of a health checkup. Individuals with at least two CAC scores and an initial score of zero were included. CAC progression was defined as [√CAC score (follow-up) − √CAC score (baseline)] ≥2.5. The 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk was calculated. Results: Among 6,268 participants (mean age, 48.0±7.1 years; male, 80.5%), 719 (11.5%) experienced CAC progression during follow-up (median, 109 months; interquartile range, 78–208 months). The CAC progression rate was 0.3%, 1.9%, 4.3%, 8.6%, and 16.7% in years 1–5, respectively. The chance of CAC progression at 5 years was 13.1%, 22.0%, and 27.9% for individuals with a 10-year ASCVD risk of 5%, ≥5% but 7.5%, and ≥7.5%, respectively. A multivariable analysis revealed age, male sex, waist circumference, diabetes, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level as independently associated with annualized CAC progression (p0.001, p=0.017, p=0.025, p=0.032, and p=0.003, respectively). Conclusions: The probability of CAC progression is very low in Korean individuals with a CAC score of zero. However, the risk of CAC progression increases nonlinearly over time, and increases as the 10-year ASCVD risk increases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was performed with the support of the CardioVascular Research Foundation (CVRF) in the Republic of Korea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine