Background: Coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults, and cerebrovascular disease is associated with the presence of symptomatic and asymptomatic CHD. Several studies noted an association between coronary calcification and thoracic aorta calcification by several imaging techniques, but this association has not yet been examined in stable angina pectoris patients with the use of spiral computed tomography.
Objectives: To examine by spiral CT the association between the presence and severity of CC and thoracic aorta calcification in patients with stable angina pectoris.
Methods: The patients were enrolled in ACTION (A Coronary Disease Trial Investigating Outcome with Nifedipine GITS) in Israel. The 432 patients (371 men and 61 women aged 40–89 years) underwent chest CT and were evaluated for CC and aortic calcification.
Results: CC was documented in 90% of the patients (n=392) and aortic calcification in 70% (n=303). A significant association (P < 0.05) was found between severity of CC and severity of aortic calcification (as measured by area, volume and slices of calcification). We also found an association between the number of coronary vessels calcified and the presence of aortic calcification: 90% of patients with triple-vessel disease (n=157) were also positive for aortic calcification (P < 0.05). Age also had an effect: 87% of patients ≥ 65 years (n=219) were positive for both coronary and aortic calcification (P = 0.005) while only 57% ≤ 65 (n=209) were positive for both (P = 0.081).
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a strong association between the presence and severity of CC and the presence and severity of calcification of thoracic aorta in patients with stable angina pectoris as detected by spiral CT.