Cardiovascular Risk Heterogeneity in Adults with Diabetes: Selective Use of Coronary Artery Calcium in Statin Use Decision-making

Sudipa Sarkar, Olusola A. Orimoloye, Caitlin M. Nass, Roger S. Blumenthal, Seth S. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Current American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association guidelines recommend statin therapy for all patients with diabetes between the ages of 40 and 75, including those without cardiovascular disease (CVD). While diabetes is a major CVD risk factor, not all patients with diabetes have an equal risk of CVD. Thus, a more risk-based approach warrants consideration when recommending statin therapy for the primary prevention of CVD. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) is a noninvasive imaging modality that can help risk stratify patients with diabetes for future CVD events. CAC has been extensively studied in large cohorts such as the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and found to outperform other novel risk stratification tools including carotid intima-media thickness. Moreover, a CAC score of 0 has been shown to be useful in downgrading the estimated risk of a CVD event in patients with diabetes and an intermediate Pooled Cohort Equation score. As clinicians weigh the recommendation for a lifelong therapy and the problem of statin nonadherence and patients weigh concerns about adverse effects of statins, the decision to initiate statin therapy in patients with diabetes is ideally a shared one between patients and providers, and CAC could facilitate this discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2643-2647
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • cardiovascular disease
  • coronary artery calcium
  • diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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