Coronary Artery Calcification Risk Increased With Paracardial Adipose Tissue

HealthDay News – Paracardial adipose tissue may be a sign of developing cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Samar El Khoudary, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and colleagues collected data, including computed tomography heart scans and blood samples, on 478 US women who took part in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. The women were in varying stages of menopause. Their average age was 51. None of the women was on hormone replacement therapy.

The researchers found that a 60% increase in paracardial adipose tissue was associated with a 160% greater risk of coronary artery calcification in postmenopausal women vs pre- or early menopausal women.

“We are showing for the first time that paracardial fat is associated with greater risk of calcification in postmenopausal women, more than in premenopausal women,” Dr El Khoudary told HealthDay.

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El Khoudary SR, Shields KJ, Janssen I, et al. Postmenopausal women with greater paracardial fat have have more coronary artery calcification than premenopausal women: the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) Cardiovascular Fat Ancillary Study [published online January 29, 2017]. J Am Heart Assoc. doi:10.1161/JAHA.116.004545