News Release

Lundquist Institute investigators co-author paper in JAMA on coronary heart disease (CHD) risk prediction

Drs. Jerome Rotter & Matt Budoff study shows that in middle-aged to older adults the coronary artery calcium score improved CHD risk discrimination

Peer-Reviewed Publication

The Lundquist Institute

CTA Coronary artery 3D rendering image for detect coronary artery disease.

image: CTA Coronary artery image for detect coronary artery disease view more 

Credit: The Lundquist Institute

The Lundquist Institute (TLI) announced today that Jerome Rotter, MD, and Matthew Budoff, MD, two of TLI’s investigators, are co-authors of a paper, “Coronary Artery Calcium Score and Polygenic Risk Score for the Prediction of Coronary Heath Disease Events,” in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association). The study assessed whether a coronary artery calcium score was associated with better discrimination than the polygenic risk score for the risk prediction of coronary heart disease (CHD) in middle-aged to older adults from the United States and Netherlands. The lead author of the study is Sadiya S. Khan, MD, based at Northwestern University. 

Both tools — polygenic risk and coronary artery calcium — are being used in coronary health disease risk assessment but they have never been directly compared head-to-head. The main result of the study showed a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in risk discrimination for middle-aged adults when the coronary artery calcium score was added to a traditional risk factor-oriented model. 

“What we found is an excellent way to identify who is at risk for coronary heart disease in middle-age,” said Dr. Rotter, Lundquist Investigator and Director of the TLI Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences. “The leading cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease and if we can assess and improve risk by using CT scans, we should move in that direction given what this study suggests. Genetics is an important risk assessment tool but may have a larger clinical role earlier in life.” 

The study indicates that imaging with computer tomography (CT) to detect coronary artery calcium can be a reliable predictor of CHD. 

“Studies showing the ability of coronary artery calcium to predict events have become more frequent,” said Dr. Budoff, Lundquist Investigator and Director of Cardiac CT, Division of Cardiology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. “What this paper really identifies is a strong cohort of middle aged and older patients who benefit from the CT screening for heart disease.”

The JAMA paper can be found here:

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