Discrepancy between coronary artery calcium score and HeartScore in middle-aged Danes: the DanRisk study

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2012 Jun;19(3):558-64. doi: 10.1177/1741826711409172. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Background: Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is an independent and incremental risk marker. This marker has previously not been compared to the HeartScore risk model.

Design: A random sample of 1825 citizens (men and women, 50 or 60 years of age) was invited for screening.

Methods: Using the HeartScore model, the 10-year risk of fatal cardiovascular events based on gender, age, smoking, systolic blood pressure, and total cholesterol was estimated. A low risk was defined as <5%. The CAC score was calculated from a non-contrast enhanced cardiac-CT scan and given in Agatston U.

Results: A total of 1257 (69%) of the invited subjects were interested in the screening. Due to previous cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus, 101 were excluded. Of the remaining 1156, 47% were men and 53% women; one half were 50 years old and the other half 60 years old. A low HeartScore was found in 901 of which 334 (37%) had CAC. A high HeartScore was recorded in 251 of which 80 (32%) did not have any CAC. High HeartScores and CAC were significantly more common in males than females.

Conclusions: CAC is common in healthy middle-aged Danes with a low HeartScore, and, on the contrary, high-risk subjects very frequently do not have CAC. The therapeutic and prognostic implications of these observations remain to be clarified.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multidetector Computed Tomography*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Calcification / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vascular Calcification / mortality