Background The extent to which the presence and extent of subclinical atherosclerosis by coronary computed tomography angiography influences a potential mortality benefit of statin is unknown. We evaluated the relationship between statin therapy, mortality, and subclinical atherosclerosis. Methods In the CONFIRM study, patients with normal or non-obstructive plaque (<50% diameter stenosis) for whom data on baseline statin use was available were included. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) was quantified using the Agatston score. The extent of non-obstructive coronary atherosclerosis was quantified using the segment involvement score (SIS). 8,016 patients were followed for a median of 2.5 years with analysis of all-cause mortality and major adverse cardiac events (MACE) including all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, unstable angina, target vessel revascularization, and coronary artery disease-related hospitalization. Results 1.2% of patients experienced all-cause mortality. Patients not on baseline statin therapy had a stepwise increased risk of all-cause mortality by CAC (relative to CAC = 0; CAC 1-99: Hazard ratio [HR] 1.65, CAC 100-299: HR 2.19, and CAC≥300: HR 2.98) or SIS (relative to SIS = 0; SIS 1: HR 1.62, SIS 2-3: 2.48 and SIS≥4: 2.95). Conversely, in patients on baseline statin therapy, there was no significant increase in mortality risk with increasing CAC (p value for interaction = 0.049) or SIS (p value for interaction = 0.007). The incidence of MACE was 2.1%. Similar to the all-cause mortality, the risk of MACE was increased with CAC or SIS strata in patient not on baseline statin therapy. However, this relation was not observed in patient on baseline statin therapy. Conclusion In individuals with non-obstructive coronary artery disease, increased risk of adverse events occurs with increasing CAC or SIS who are not on baseline statin therapy. Statin therapy is associated with a mitigation of risk of cardiac events in the presence of increasing atherosclerosis, with no particular threshold of disease burden.
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© 2018 Cho et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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