Aortic stiffness and calcification in men in a population-based international study

Akira Sekikawa, Chol Shin, J. David Curb, Emma Barinas-Mitchell, Kamal Masaki, Aiman El-Saed, Todd B. Seto, Rachel H. Mackey, Jina Choo, Akira Fujiyoshi, Katsuyuki Miura, Daniel Edmundowicz, Lewis H. Kuller, Hirotsugu Ueshima, Kim Sutton-Tyrrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Aortic stiffness, a hallmark of vascular aging, is an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. The association of aortic stiffness with aortic calcification in middle-aged general population remains unknown although studies in patients with end-stage renal disease or elderly subjects suggest that aortic calcification is an important determinant of aortic stiffness. The goal of this study was to examine the association of aortic calcification and stiffness in multi-ethnic population-based samples of relatively young men. Methods: We examined the association in 906 men aged 40-49 (81 Black Americans, 276 Japanese Americans, 258 White Americans and 291 Koreans). Aortic stiffness was measured as carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) using an automated waveform analyzer. Aortic calcification from aortic arch to iliac bifurcation was evaluated using electron-beam computed tomography. Results: Aortic calcium score was calculated and was categorized into four groups: zero (n= 303), 1-100 (n= 411), 101-300 (n= 110), and 401+ (n= 82). Aortic calcification category had a significant positive association with cfPWV after adjusting for age, race, and mean arterial pressure (mean (standard error) of cfPWV (cm/s) from the lowest to highest categories: 836 (10), 850 (9), 877 (17) and 941 (19), P for trend <0.001). The significant positive association remained after further adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors. The significant positive association was also observed in each race group. Conclusions: The results suggest that aortic calcification can be one mechanism for aortic stiffness and that the association of aortic calcification with stiffness starts as early as the 40s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-477
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants HL68200 and HL071561 from the National Institutes of Health, USA , Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Government budget code: 2004-E71001-00, 205-E71001-00), as well as B 16790335 and A 13307016, 17209023, and 21249043 from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology .


  • Aortic calcification
  • Aortic stiffness
  • International multi-ethnic study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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