The Associated Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Calcium in Asymptomatic Individuals with and Without Diabetes in Rural Central Appalachia

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Aim To examine the risk factor of coronary artery calcium (CAC) in individuals with diabetes and those without diabetes in Central Appalachia. Methods Study population included 2479 asymptomatic participants who underwent CAC screening between August 2012 and November 2016. CAC score was classified into four categories [0 (no plaque), 1–99 (mild plaque), 100–399 (moderate plaque), and ≥400 (severe plaque)]. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to test the association between CAC and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among participants with diabetes, age and gender matched controls, and randomly selected controls. Results 13.6% of total participants had diabetes. Around 69%, 59.8%, and 57.7% of the participants with diabetes, matched controls, and randomly selected controls had CAC score ≥1, respectively. Participants with diabetes had higher prevalence of all CVD risk factors than controls. Among participants with diabetes, hypertension and physical inactivity increased the odds of CAC = 100–399, while among those without diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesteremia increased the odds of having CAC = 1–99 and CAC ≥ 400. Conclusion Half of study participants had subclinical atherosclerosis (i.e., CAC), and individuals with diabetes had higher CAC scores. This study suggests that individuals with diabetes in Central Appalachia might benefit from screening for CAC.