The impact of gender on cardiovascular system calcification in very elderly patients with severe aortic stenosis
There is an established sex difference in cardiovascular disease among pre-menopausal women and age-matched men, with men having greater susceptibility to cardiovascular and coronary artery disease. Cardiovascular calcification may be linked to the atherosclerotic process and resulting disease, but the sex difference regarding coronary artery disease susceptibility and calcification is incompletely understood. We thought to measure calcium volume in different chest vascular beds in very elderly men and women with severe aortic stenosis (AS). Computed tomography scans of 94 patients with severe AS were calcium volume scored on Aquarius iNtuition Terarecon (Terarecon Inc., CA, USA) work stations. Coronary beds, aortic valve, mitral valve apparatus, and the thoracic aorta were examined. A significant sex difference in the mean total calcium volume of the coronary arteries was found in elderly (p = 0.001), with men having greater levels of calcification. There is also a significant sex difference in the amount of aortic valve calcium (p = 0.003). Furthermore, aortic and coronary calcification was independently correlated with sex. This study demonstrates a significant sex impact on calcification in the coronary beds and aortic valve in elderly patients with severe AS.