Reclassification of coronary heart disease risk in a primary prevention setting: traditional risk factor assessment vs. coronary artery calcium scoring

Alaa Alashi, Richard Lang, Raul Seballos, Steven Feinleib, Roxanne Sukol, Leslie Cho, Paul Schoenhagen, Brian P. Griffin, Scott D. Flamm, Milind Y. Desai

Abstract

Background: In a primary prevention screening program of asymptomatic middle-aged subjects, we sought to assess the degree of risk-reclassification provided by traditional risk assessment vs. coronary artery calcification scoring (CACS).
Methods: A total of 1,806 consecutive asymptomatic subjects (age 55 years, 76% men), who underwent comprehensive screening in a primary prevention clinic between 3/2016 and 9/2017 were included. Standard risk factors, C-reactive protein (CRP) and CAC scoring were performed. % 10-year coronary heart disease (CHD) risk was calculated using Reynolds Risk Score (RRS), atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) score and multiethnic study on subclinical atherosclerosis (MESA) CACS were calculated. % 10-year CHD risk for all scores was categorized as follows: <1%, 1–5%, 6–10% and >10%.
Results: Mean CRP, RRS, ASCVD and MESA-CACS were 2.1±4.2, 3.7±4, 4.9±6, 4.9±5; 54% had CAC of 0, while 21% had CAC >75th percentile. There was a significant, but modest correlation between MESA-CAC score and (I) RRS (r=0.62) and (II) ASCVD scores (r=0.65, both P<0.001). Compared to MESA-CAC, for RRS, (I) 188 (10%) patients had a downgrade in risk and (II) 538 (30%) patients had an upgrade in risk (40% reclassification of risk). Similarly, compared to MESA-CAC, for ASCVD score, (I) 412 (23%) patients had a downgrade in risk and (II) 329 (18%) patients had a downgrade in risk (41% reclassification of risk).
Conclusions: In a primary prevention screening program of asymptomatic middle-aged patients, RRS overestimates and ASCVHD underestimates 10-year CHD risk vs. MESA-CACS. Addition of CACS results in significant risk reclassification.