A 25-year study reveals the prognostic value of calcium score (a potent predictor of the risk of cardiovascular events in asymptomatic patients) for assessing the risk of heart failure.
A high calcium score in the coronary arteries increases the risk of heart failure, according to a new study. Calcium score (CAC) is a potent predictor of the risk of cardiovascular events in asymptomatic patients. "We focused on people in the prime of life (around 50 years old, Ed) because it is a period where the abnormalities are asymptomatic", explains Henrique Turin Moreira, co-author of the study and treating physician at the hospital das clínicas de Ribeirão Preto (Brazil). For him, "the preventive control of these anomalies is essential".
The heart has to work more
His team followed 2,449 people for 25 years, starting the experiment on young adults in their twenties. The health of the participants was compared between the fifteenth and the last year of the study (25th).
Assessment: those with higher coronary artery calcium levels had a 12% increase in left ventricular mass and 9% in right ventricular volume, independent of other risk factors. Abnormalities in the left ventricle mean that the heart has had to work harder to pump the blood efficiently and, as a result, has become enlarged and thickened, a risk factor for heart failure.
Prevention with young people
"Given the high mortality associated with heart failure, these results are important," the authors conclude, stressing the need for prevention among young people. In France, in 2008-2009, heart failure affected 2.3% of the French adult population, about 1,130,000 people. It is a major cause of death in France, whatever the age. In 2010, she was directly or indirectly responsible for more than 95,000 deaths.
Heart failure is the inability of the heart muscle to normally perform its role of propelling blood into the body. It can occur in the course of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris or hypertension.