Coronary calcification: insights from sudden coronary death victims

Z Kardiol. 2000:89 Suppl 2:49-53. doi: 10.1007/s003920070099.


We studied 108 cases of sudden coronary death at autopsy. Any calcification was present in 55% of men and women under 40 years; all hearts showed some calcification by age 50 in men, and by age 60 in women. The only risk factor independently associated with increased calcification was diabetes mellitus, in women only. The degree of calcification was greatest for acute and healed plaque ruptures, and the least for plaque erosion. Calcification in coronary atherosclerosis appears to be delayed in women, is greatest in women diabetics, and is associated with one type of plaque instability, namely plaque rupture.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Calcinosis / pathology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology*
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / pathology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors