Sex differences in coronary atherosclerosis progression and major adverse cardiac events in patients with suspected coronary artery disease.
J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2017 Sep - Oct;11(5):367-372. doi: 10.1016/j.jcct.2017.07.002. Epub 2017 Jul 16. Gu H1, Gao Y2, Wang H2, Hou Z2, Han L2, Wang X3, Lu B4.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the influence of coronary atherosclerosis progression on the risk of major adverse cardiac events (MACE). Similarly, differences between men and women regarding atherosclerosis progression are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate the progression of coronary atherosclerosis by coronary CT angiography (coronary CTA) in men and women, and to evaluate its prognostic value regarding MACE.
METHODS: This study included 1046 patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) who underwent serial coronary CTA because of new or worsening symptoms or because follow-up coronary CTA had been recommended by attending physicians. Coronary atherosclerosis was semi-quantitatively assessed as follows: three-vessel plaque score (TVPS), severe proximal plaque score (SPPS), segment stenosis score (SSS), segment involvement score (SIS), and coronary artery calcium score (CACS). Patients were followed-up regarding the occurrence of MACE, defined as cardiac death, coronary revascularization, nonfatal myocardial infarction and hospitalization due to unstable angina. Follow-up information was gathered by clinical visits or telephone contacts.
RESULTS: Follow-up was achieved in 953 (91.1%) patients (63.8% male; mean age, 53.9 ± 9.7 years) with a mean interval of 4.9 ± 1.1 years. MACE occurred in 132 (13.9%) patients. The average interscan time was 2.1 years. Compared with women, men had significantly higher progression of SPPS, SSS and SIS (6.6% vs. 3.5%, 28.0% vs. 18.3%, 26.6% vs. 16.8%, respectively, all P < 0.005). There was a strong association between the progression of SPPS as well as SSS and MACE, both for men (SPPS, HR:2.17, P < 0.001; SSS, HR:1.28, P = 0.023) and women (SPPS, HR:2.75, P < 0.001; SSS, HR:1.19, P = 0.027).
CONCLUSIONS: Progression of coronary atherosclerosis as determined by coronary CTA is higher in men than women, it is associated with the risk of future MACE.