Springer Nature

Coronary artery calcium in patients with schizophrenia

Posted on 2021-08-24 - 03:49
Abstract Background Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of increased mortality rates in patients with schizophrenia. Moreover, coronary artery calcium (CAC) score is associated with CHD. We hypothesized that patients with schizophrenia have more CAC than the general population and aimed to investigate the CAC score in patients with schizophrenia compared to norms based on the general population. Additionally, this study investigated if age, sex, diabetes, dyslipidemia and smoking were associated with the CAC score. Methods In a cross-sectional study, 163 patients with schizophrenia underwent cardiac computed tomography, and the CAC score was measured and compared to norms by classifying the CAC scores in relation to the age- and gender matched norm 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Logistic and linear regression were carried out to investigate explanatory variables for the presence and extent of CAC, respectively. Results A total of 127 (77.9%) patients had a CAC score below or equal to the matched 50th, 20 (12.3%) above the 75th and nine (5.5%) above the 90th percentile. Male sex (P < 0.05), age (P < 0.001) and smoking (P < 0.05) were associated with the presence of CAC while age (P < 0.001) and diabetes (P < 0.01) were associated with the extent of CAC. Conclusions The amount of CAC in patients with schizophrenia follows norm percentiles, and variables associated with the CAC score are similar in patients with schizophrenia and the general population. These findings indicate that the CAC score may not be sufficient to detect the risk of CHD in patients with schizophrenia. Future studies should explore other measures of subclinical CHD, including measures of peripheral atherosclerosis or cardiac autonomic neuropathy to improve early detection and intervention. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02885792 , September 1, 2016.


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BMC Psychiatry


Trine Trab
Rubina Attar
Svend Eggert Jensen
Simon Grøntved
Jens Brøndum Frøkjær
Christoffer Polcwiartek
René Ernst Nielsen
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