There is some disparity in the morbidity and mortality rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) according to race, ethnicity, and geographic regions. Although prediction algorithms that evaluate risk of cardiovascular events have been established using traditional risk factors, they have also demonstrated a number of differences along with race and ethnicity. Of various risk assessment modalities, coronary artery calcium (CAC) score is a sensitive marker of calcific atherosclerosis and correlates well with atherosclerotic plaque burden. Although CAC score is now utilized as a useful tool for early detection of coronary artery disease, prior studies have suggested some variability in the presence and severity of coronary calcification according to race, ethnicity, and/or geographic regions. Among Asian populations, it would appear necessary to reappraise the utility of CAC score and whether it remains superior over and above established clinical risk prediction algorithms. To this end, the Korea initiatives on coronary artery calcification (KOICA) registry has been designed to identify the effectiveness of CAC score for primary prevention of CVD in asymptomatic Korean adults. This review discusses the important role of CAC score for prognostication, while also describing the design and rationale of the KOICA registry.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Coronary artery calcium score; Coronary artery disease; Ethnicity; Risk prediction algorithm.