Aortic sclerosis is associated with cardiovascular events in patients without coronary heart disease (CHD), but it is unclear whether this association exists in patients with established CHD or is independent of baseline cardiac disease severity. It is also unclear whether statins modify this association. In a prospective cohort study of 814 outpatients with established CHD and no evidence of aortic stenosis, the association of aortic sclerosis with subsequent cardiovascular events was examined using a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model. Of 814 participants, 324 (40%) had aortic sclerosis. During 4 years of follow-up, 10% with aortic sclerosis experienced a myocardial infarction (MI) compared with 5% of those without aortic sclerosis (hazard ratio [HR] 1.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1 to 3.1, p = 0.02). This association was unchanged after adjustment for potential confounders and mediators (HR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3 to 4.8, p = 0.009). However, the association between aortic sclerosis and MI appeared to differ by statin use (p = 0.15 for interaction). Aortic sclerosis predicted subsequent MI in subjects not administered statins (adjusted HR 4.1, 95% CI 1.1 to 15.7, p = 0.04), but not in those administered statins (adjusted HR 1.7, 95% CI 0.8 to 3.9, p = 0.18). In conclusion, aortic sclerosis was present in 40% of patients with CHD and is independently associated with a 2.4-fold increased rate of subsequent MI. Statins may attenuate the increased risk of future MI in patients with aortic sclerosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine