Although organized, low-dose, computed-tomography (CT) scan lung-cancer screening has been shown to lower all-cause and lung-cancer-specific mortality, the primary cause of death for subjects eligible for such screening remains cardiovascular (CV) mortality. This meta-analysis study was undertaken to evaluate the impact of screening-scan-detected coronary artery calcifications (CACs) on CV and all-cause mortality. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting CV mortality according to the Agatson CAC score for participants in a lung-cancer screening program of randomized clinical or cohort studies. PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases were screened in June 2020. Two authors independently selected articles and extracted data. Six studies, including 20,175 subjects, were retained. CV and all-cause mortality rates were higher for subjects with CAC scores >0, with respective relative risks of 2.02 [95% CI 1.23-3.32] and 2.29 [95% CI 1.00-5.21]. Both mortality rates were even higher for those with high CAC scores (>400 or >1000). CACs are more common in men than in women, with an odds ratio of 1.49 [95% CI 1.40-1.59]. The presence of CAC is associated with CV mortality with an RR of 2.05 [95% CI 1.20-3.57] in men and 2.37 [CI 95% 1.29-5.09] in women, respectively. Analysis of lung-cancer-screening scans for CACs is a tool able to predict CV mortality. Prospective studies within those programs are needed to assess the benefit of primary CV prevention based on CAC detection.
Impact on All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Rates of Coronary Artery Calcifications Detected during Organized, Low-Dose, Computed-Tomography Screening for Lung Cancer: Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis.
Cancers (Basel). 2021;13(7).