Progression of coronary artery calcification is associated with long-term cadiovascular events in hypertensive adults

Joseph Shemesh, Michael Motro, Chagai Grossman, Nira Morag-Koren, Sara Apter, Ehud Grossman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular (CV) events in hypertensive adults. However, the additive value of serial CAC measurements for risk stratification is unclear. The aim of the present study was to find whether CAC progression predicts long-term CV events in hypertensive patients. Methods: The study group included 210 patients (mean age 64±5.6 years, 54% men), a subgroup of 544 participants in the calcification side arm of the INSIGHT (International Nifedipine Study Intervention as Goal for Hypertension Therapy). All were free of symptoms or known CV disease, had at least two CT scans 1 year apart, and had available long-term follow-up. Progression of CAC was defined as the absolute change in CAC score between maximal score during follow-up and baseline score. The endpoint was the first CV event after the last CT scan. Three categories of CAC progression were defined. Zero progression was defined as 'nonprogressors', and progression below and above the median of maximal progression were defined as 'slow progressors' and 'rapid progressors', respectively. Results: During 15 years of follow-up (mean 11.4±4.4), 83 patients experienced a first CV event. The rate of events was higher in rapid (29/59, 49%), and slow (36/78 46%) than in nonprogressors (18/73 25%); (P= 0.005). Compared with nonprogressors, the adjusted hazard ratio for CV events was 1.91 [95% confidence interval (95% CI); 1.05-3.47] in the slow, and 2.13 (95% CI; 1.12-4.03) in the rapid progressors. Conclusion: In hypertensive patients, progression of CAC is associated with long-term CV events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1886-1892
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Cardiovascular events
  • Coronary calcification
  • Hypertension
  • Progression of coronary calcification


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