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Editor's Correspondence
April 26, 2010

Progression of Coronary Artery Calcification: Not Down-and-Out—Reply

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Divisions of Cardiology (Drs McCullough and Chinnaiyan) and Nutrition and Preventive Medicine (Dr McCullough), William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan.

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(8):735-736. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.61

In reply

McEvoy and Blaha correctly point out that the Coronary Artery Calcification Treatment with Zocor (CATZ) Study would have added 30 patients treated with 80 mg of simvastatin and 32 with placebo.1 Because the baseline Agatson scores were 659 and 593 (needed ≥50 Agatson units for entry) and the rates of annualized progression were 8.8% and 4.9% for simvastatin and placebo, respectively, this trial would have fallen on our lines of best fit, thus further strengthening our conclusions.2 The report by Budoff and colleagues3 was published after our paper was submitted for peer review. This trial of nutritional supplements (n = 30 evaluable) compared with placebo (n = 28 evaluable) found that baseline scores of 291 and 347 increased by 6.9% and 26.5%, respectively (much higher than other placebo rates reported). When viewed in light of the now 2732 total patients accrued in trials, this finding likely represents α error.