Calcified Atherosclerosis in Different Vascular Beds and the Risk of Mortality
Objective—The goal of this study was to determine differences in risks for total and cause-specific mortality related to calcified atherosclerosis in different vascular beds.
Methods and Results—A total of 4544 patients underwent computed tomography scans that were interrogated for calcium in different vascular beds. Mortality assessment was conducted by death certificate adjudication. At baseline, the mean age was 56.8 years, and 43% were female. After an average of 7.8 years, there were 163 deaths. With full adjustment, the presence of calcium in the thoracic aorta (hazard ratio [HR], 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–3.5), carotids (HR, 1.60; CI, 1.1–2.5), and iliac (HR, 1.67; CI, 1.0–2.9) arteries were associated with total mortality, whereas the presence of coronary calcium was associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality (HR, 3.4; CI, 0.8–10.9). For severity of calcium burden, a 1-SD increment in the iliac arteries was the strongest predictor for all types of mortality. C-statistics were not significantly larger when noncoronary vascular beds were added to models with CVD risk factors or CVD risk factors plus coronary artery calcium.
Conclusion—The associations between calcified atherosclerosis and mortality differ by vascular bed, suggesting that the location and severity of calcification in different vascular beds provide unique information for mortality.
- coronary artery disease
- electron beam computed tomography
- peripheral arterial disease
- Received July 20, 2011.
- Accepted October 19, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.