Important Heart Health Update for Diabetic Patients: Coronary CT Angiography

POSTED ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2014 AT 2:16 PM  by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

At the 2014 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Canadian researchers reported that even mild coronary artery disease puts diabetic patients at increased risk of heart attack, according to a long term study of 1,823 people. Prior to this study, diabetic patients that only showed mild, or non-obstructive coronary artery disease were believed to have a lower risk of major cardiac events than patients with obstructive coronary artery disease. This study, using Coronary CT Angiography (CCTA), determined that the relative risk for a major adverse cardiovascular event in diabetic patients with mild coronary artery disease was similar to the risk in patients with single vessel obstructive disease, according to the 2014 RSNA press release covering the topic.

The study co-author Jonathan Leipsic, MD, vice chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of British Columbia stated in the RSNA press release that “cardiac CT angiography is helpful for identifying diabetic patients who are at higher risk for heart events, who may benefit from more aggressive therapy to help modify that risk.”

"Patients identified with mild disease on CT may benefit from more aggressive medical therapy than they are currently receiving," suggested study co-author Dr. Philipp Blanke, a radiologist at the University of British Columbia and St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, according to an article by Edward Susman for published and retrieved on December 3, 2014.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. According to the Mayo clinic, in addition to diabetes, risks for Coronary Artery Disease include:

•Increasing Age.

•Male Sex. However, the risk for women increases after menopause.

•Family history.


•High blood pressure.

•High blood cholesterol levels.


•Physical inactivity.

•High stress.

At Park Avenue Radiologists, P.C. we are proud to have the experience as well as the technology to provide our patients high quality noninvasive imaging of the coronary arteries. To schedule your heart examination at our Upper East Side radiology facility, contact our scheduling personnel at your convenience online, via email:, or 212-888-1000 during normal operating hours.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia and St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver analyzed CCTA data from the Coronary CT Angiography Evaluation For Clinical Outcomes: An International Multicenter (CONFIRM) Registry, which currently holds data on 40,000 patients from centers around the world. The registry includes five-year follow-up data on 14,000 patients. Of the patients on the registry,1,823 were diabetic with Austria, Germany, Canada, Israel, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, Switzerland, and the U.S. all having patients included on the registry.

Diabetic patients with no apparent coronary artery disease present on their CT exam had a significantly better prognosis at their five-year follow-up, Susman’s article details.

For more information on cardiac CT angiography in New York City, contact our knowledgeable representatives at or 212-888-1000.


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