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Background: Echocardiography can detect calcium deposits in heart valves and aortic root, but the relationship of echocardiographic heart calcification such as aortic valve calcification (AVC), mitral annular calcification (MAC), and aortic root calcification (ARC) with future cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and morbidity is not fully elucidated. Methods: We analyzed data from 943 patients with suspected coronary heart disease (mean age, 65.7. years; 36% female). Echocardiographic total heart calcification (THC) score was determined by summing up the AVC, MAC, and ARC variables; THC-0 (N = 397), THC-1 (N = 236), THC-2 (N = 224), and THC-3 (N = 86). Subjects were followed for mean 2.9. years to assess the risk of death from CVD causes. Cardiovascular morbidity was defined as new episodes of non-fatal myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, stroke, and surgical treatment of vascular disease. Results: There were 43 CVD deaths and a total of 160 CVD events. Kaplan-Meier curves showed a graded CVD mortality and morbidity across increasing THC score values. With full adjustment, Cox regression hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for CVD mortality and morbidity, using no calcification as reference, for THC-1, THC-2, and THC-3 were 2.21 (1.31-3.74), 2.59 (1.53-4.39) and 4.14 (2.30-7.47), respectively. When THC score was added to models with CVD risk factors, C-statistics were significantly larger for CVD mortality (p = 0.048) and for CVD mortality and morbidity (p = 0.004). Conclusions: THC score, the sum of the amounts of AVC, MAC, and ARC present as estimated by echocardiography, has an independent and incremental prognostic value in a high-risk population. © 2013 The Authors.




H., U., H., Y., Y., U., H., T., E., K., T., K., … Y., K. (2013). Association between heart calcification assessed by echocardiography and future cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity. IJC Heart and Vessels, 2, 15–20. LK  -

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