(HealthDay News) — For patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) 10-year risk score does not improve identification of those with elevated cardiovascular (CV) risk based on high coronary artery calcification (CAC) scores, according to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Vivian K. Kawai, MD, MPH, from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues compared the 10-year Framingham Risk Score, Reynolds Risk Score and ACC/AHA risk score for identifying patients with rheumatoid arthritis known to have elevated CV risk based on high CAC scores. 

Of 98 patients eligible for risk stratification using the ACC/AHA risk score, 34 were identified with high CAC.

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The researchers found that patients with high CAC had higher scores with all three risk scores (P<.05). For all three risk scores, the percentage of patients with high CAC who were correctly assigned to the elevated risk category was similar: Framingham Risk Score, 32%; Reynolds Risk Score, 32%; and ACC/AHA, 41% (P=.223). 

The C-statistics for predicting the presence of elevated CAC were 0.65 for Framingham Risk Score, 0.66 for Reynolds Risk Score and 0.65 for ACC/AHA.

“The ACC/AHA 10-year risk score does not offer any advantage compared to the traditional FRS and RRS in the identification of [rheumatoid arthritis] patients with elevated risk as determined by high CAC,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Kawai VK et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015;67(2):381-385.