Quantifying the impact of using Coronary Artery Calcium Score for risk categorization instead of Framingham Score or European Heart SCORE in lipid lowering algorithms in a Middle Eastern population

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Hussain A. Isma'eel - , American University of Beirut (Author)
  • Mohamad M. Almedawar - , Department of internal Medicine 3, American University of Beirut (Author)
  • Bernard Harbieh - , American University of Beirut (Author)
  • Wissam Alajaji - , American University of Beirut (Author)
  • Laila Al-Shaar - , American University of Beirut (Author)
  • Mukbil Hourani - , American University of Beirut (Author)
  • Fadi El-Merhi - , American University of Beirut (Author)
  • Samir Alam - , American University of Beirut (Author)
  • Antoine Abchee - , American University of Beirut (Author)


Background: The use of the Coronary Artery Calcium Score (CACS) for risk categorization instead of the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) or European Heart SCORE (EHS) to improve classification of individuals is well documented. However, the impact of reclassifying individuals using CACS on initiating lipid lowering therapy is not well understood. We aimed to determine the percentage of individuals not requiring lipid lowering therapy as per the FRS and EHS models but are found to require it using CACS and vice versa; and to determine the level of agreement between CACS, FRS and EHS based models. Methods: Data was collected for 500 consecutive patients who had already undergone CACS. However, only 242 patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. Risk stratification comparisons were conducted according to CACS, FRS, and EHS, and the agreement (Kappa) between them was calculated. Results: In accordance with the models, 79.7% to 81.5% of high-risk individuals were down-classified by CACS, while 6.8% to 7.6% of individuals at intermediate risk were up-classified to high risk by CACS, with slight to moderate agreement. Moreover, CACS recommended treatment to 5.7% and 5.8% of subjects untreated according to European and Canadian guidelines, respectively; whereas 75.2% to 81.2% of those treated in line with the guidelines would not be treated based on CACS. Conclusion: In this simulation, using CACS for risk categorization warrants lipid lowering treatment for 5-6% and spares 70-80% from treatment in accordance with the guidelines. Current strong evidence from double randomized clinical trials is in support of guideline recommendations. Our results call for a prospective trial to explore the benefits/risks of a CACS-based approach before any recommendations can be made.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-243
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Saudi Heart Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

External IDs

ORCID /0009-0004-4894-2360/work/142240736


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Canadian Cardiology Society guidelines, Coronary Artery Calcium Score, European Society of Cardiology guidelines, Lipid lowering therapy, Reclassification, Risk categorization

Library keywords