(HealthDay)—The Coronary Calcium Score (CCS) may be a useful tool in cardiovascular (CV) risk assessment among female patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published in the October issue of the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Miguel Bernardes, M.D., from the University of Porto in Portugal, and colleagues assessed CCS (using computed tomography) in 60 with RA (mean age, 53.6 years; disease duration, 14.7 years) to determine its association with laboratory, imaging, and clinical disease parameters.

The researchers found that CCS >10 was significantly associated with cardiovascular risk factors (age: odds ratio [OR], 1.120; body mass index [BMI] ≥25 kg/m²: OR, 0.271; [HDL]: OR, 0.011; /HDL ratio: OR, 2.084; apolipoprotein A1 [ApoA1]: OR, 0.965; apolipoprotein B (ApoB)/ApoA1 ratio: OR, 59.834; homocysteine: OR, 1.287; diabetes: OR, 10.400), disease parameters (C-reactive protein [CRP]: OR, 1.038; Disease Activity Score [DAS(4v)]: OR, 1.900; Health Assessment Questionnaire: OR, 3.299; erosion score: OR, 1.015; total modified Sharp/van der Heijde Score: OR, 1.008), biomarkers (osteoprotegerin: OR, 1.505), and bone mineral density (femoral: OR, 0.005; lumbar spine: OR, 0.001; left hand: OR, 7.9 × 10−9; osteoporosis: OR, 6.628). Significant associations remained for ApoA1, ApoB/ApoA1 ratio, homocysteine, CRP, DAS(4v), DAS(4v; CRP), DAS(3v), and DAS(3v; CRP), when adjusting for age and BMI.

"Our work reinforces the hypothesis that in RA, CCS may be a useful tool in CV risk assessment, particularly valuable in poorer controlled patients with certain lipoprotein profiles," the authors write.