High CAC burden among S. Asian men considered an important CVD predictor

The results of this observational study that have recently appeared in the Journal of the American Heart Association may be useful for risk prediction in this ethnic population, and may better guide the judicious use of statin and other preventive therapies. Coronary artery calcium/calcification (CAC) is a novel risk marker and independent predictor of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and is associated with incident heart disease and mortality in US populations. Early signs and progression of CAC may be measured by serial computed tomography (CT) scans.

The team of researchers from the University of California-San Francisco calculated incidence of new CAC and progression rates and any CAC change using data from the MASALA (Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America) study which is a community-based prospective cohort of South Asian men and women (a majority of MASALA participants are first-generation immigrants, mostly from India) from 2 clinical sites (San Francisco Bay Area at the University of California, San Francisco and the greater Chicago area at Northwestern University). Repeat CAC measurements of a total of 698 South Asians over a five-year period have been compared with the data for the 4 race/ethnic groups gathered in MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), adjusting for age. South Asian men had higher incidence and progression of CAC than South Asian women. After accounting for other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (age, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and statin medication use), South Asian men had greater change in CAC compared with men from other ethnic minority groups (blacks, Latinos, and Chinese Americans), but similar change in CAC compared with white men.

“The results of this study are very significant,” says Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation. “Recognizing health benefits of nutrients like vitamin K2 as MK-7 (MenaQ7) may be an attractive option to ensure optimal calcification inhibition for those ethnic groups that have notably higher CAC prevalence and progression,” Maresz adds.



Kanaya AM, Vittinghoff E, Lin F, Kandula NR, Herrington D, Liu K, Blaha M, Budoff MJ (2019)  Incidence and Progression of Coronary Artery Calcium in South Asians Compared With 4 Race/Ethnic Groups. J Am Heart Assoc. 8(2):e011053. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.118.011053.

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