To reach their conclusions, Joshi et al. analyzed data from more than 7,000 patients who took part in two major studies: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis or MESA, funded by the National Institutes of Health, and the Dallas Heart Study at UT Southwestern.
Each participant was divided based on their calcium risk scores (zero, 1-99, and 100 or above) and further subdivided based on their sex and race.
For those with a CAC score of zero, heart attack or stroke risk was less than 2% over the next decade. That rose slightly to near 6% in patients ranging from 1-99.
When CAC metrics shot above 100, however, heart attack risk was twice as high as stroke for everyone in the study. For the former, men and Hispanic participants were particularly at risk, coming in at 12% and 14%, respectively. Women faced an 8% possibility of heart attack over the coming 10 year period.