Measurement of coronary artery calcification by electron beam computerized tomography in persons with chronic spinal cord injury: Evidence for increased atherosclerotic burden

S. H. Orakzai, R. H. Orakzai, N. Ahmadi, N. Agrawal, W. A. Bauman, F. Yee, R. H. Adkins, R. L. Waters, M. J. Budoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background/Objective: Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) have been reported to have an increased prevalence of premature cardiovascular disease. Whether the increased risk of disease is owing to clustering of traditional cardiac risk factor or is over and above that predicted by risk factors was addressed. Methods: Ninety-one persons with chronic SCI were studied for subclinical atherosclerosis. Cardiac risk factors and coronary artery calcium (CAC) was compared to matched non-SCI controls. The 273 controls were 3:1 matched for age, gender, ethnicity and risk factors and were drawn from a national database of over 30 000 asymptomatic persons undergoing coronary scanning. Results: Seventy-six men and 15 women were studied. Average age was 49.7±12 years. Duration of injury was 19.7±10 years. The ethnicity of the study cohort included 36% Caucasian, 49% Latino, 10% African American, and 5% other. The mean calcium score of the SCI group was significantly greater than the control group (75±218 versus 28±104, P<0.001). The prevalence of any CAC score was greater in the SCI population than the control population (51 versus 39%, P<0.05), as was CAC score >100 (16 versus 7%, P<0.01). Women with SCI had a significantly lower CAC score than men (mean score: 12 versus 86, P<0.01). Conclusion: Patients with SCI were shown to have greater atherosclerotic burden than able-bodied controls. Of note, and unexplained, this finding is beyond that explained by the clustering of traditional risk factors. On the basis of these findings, increased attention should be directed toward the prevention of coronary heart disease in those with SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-779
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume45
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiac CT
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart disease
  • Paraplegia
  • Spinal cord injury

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