To describe the epidemiology and prognostic value of coronary artery calcium (CAC) in individuals with prediabetes.


We pooled participants free of clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) from four prospective cohorts: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study, Framingham Heart Study, and Jackson Heart Study. Two definitions were used for prediabetes: inclusive (fasting plasma glucose [FPG] ≥100 to <126 mg/dL and hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] ≥5.7% to <6.5%, if available, and no glucose-lowering medications) and restrictive (FPG ≥110 to <126 mg/dL and HbA1c ≥5.7% to <6.5%, if available, among participants not taking glucose-lowering medications).


The study included 13,376 participants (mean age 58 years; 54% women; 57% White; 27% Black). The proportions with CAC ≥100 were 17%, 22%, and 37% in those with euglycemia, prediabetes, and diabetes, respectively. Over a median (25th–75th percentile) follow-up time of 14.6 (interquartile range 7.8–16.4) years, individuals with prediabetes and CAC ≥100 had a higher unadjusted 10-year incidence of ASCVD (13.4%) than the overall group of those with diabetes (10.6%). In adjusted analyses, using the inclusive definition of prediabetes, compared with euglycemia, the hazard ratios (HRs) for ASCVD were 0.79 (95% CI 0.62, 1.01) for prediabetes and CAC 0, 0.70 (0.54, 0.89) for prediabetes and CAC 1–99, 1.54 (1.27, 1.88) for prediabetes and CAC ≥100, and 1.64 (1.39, 1.93) for diabetes. Using the restrictive definition, the HR for ASCVD was 1.63 (1.29, 2.06) for prediabetes and CAC ≥100.


CAC ≥100 is frequent among individuals with prediabetes and identifies a high ASCVD risk subgroup in which the adjusted ASCVD risk is similar to that in individuals with diabetes.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.25033481.

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