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Time for sex specific atherosclerosis risk prediction

      In this issue of the journal, Vernon et al. [

      Vernon ST, Kott KA, Hansen T, Zhang KJ, Cole BR, Coffey S, Grieve SM and Figtree GA. Coronary Artery Disease Burden in Women Poorly Explained by Traditional Risk Factors: Sex Disaggregated Analyses from the BioHEART-CT Study. Atherosclerosis.

      ] embarked on an important analysis of the BioHEART-CT study to discern the sex-based differences in role of standard modifiable cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and smoking). This study makes a significant contribution to the growing body of literature to better understand coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors in women in order to improve detection and early, personalized interventions. It demonstrated a surprising finding though; smoking and diabetes mellitus, previously thought to be associated with CAD in women, were not associated with the presence of atherosclerotic plaque in coronary arteries. The study suggests that models incorporating only traditional risk factors may not be sufficient to explain the CAD burden in women. Models that incorporate other nontraditional risk factors may be needed for atherosclerosis prediction in women.

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