Coronary Calcium Identifies Those at Risk for High Blood Pressure

A new study was reported at the 2013 International Conference on Prehypertension and Cardiometabolic Syndrome in Barcelona, Spain on February 4, 2013, that looked at nearly 10 years of  follow up of cardiovascular events in a study conducted in Germany.

Researchers found that Coronary Artery Calcium, measured using Cardiac CT Scans, was a key predictor of which patients with high-normal Blood Pressure (sometimes called ‘prehypertension’) would later go on to develop true hypertension, especially in women.

According to the presenter Dr. R. Erbel [University of Essen, Germany], Coronary Artery Calcium  tests may help physicians decide which prehypertensive patients should be targeted for more intensive monitoring and management.

Dr Erbel also showed that the adjusted risk of primary and secondary cardiovascular events across all blood-pressure categories increased significantly with higher levels of Coronary Artery Calcium. In subjects with stage 1 or 2 hypertension, the risk of cardiac events (including heart attacks and strokes) associated with the highest calcium scores (>400) was four times that of patients with calcium scores in the lowest ranges (1-99).

These findings indicate that patients with borderline blood pressure or pre-hypertension who have elevated Coronary Artery Calcium Scores may benefit from earlier and more aggressive treatment