Smoking, smoking cessation and aortic arch calcification in older Chinese: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study

Atherosclerosis. 2009 Feb;202(2):529-34. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2008.03.004. Epub 2008 Mar 14.


Objective: To study the association between smoking, smoking cessation and aortic arc calcification (AAC) in an older Chinese population.

Methods: A total of 3022 men and 7279 women aged 50-85 years were recruited and received a medical check-up including measurement of fasting plasma vascular risk factors. Two radiologists reviewed the posterior-anterior plain chest X-ray radiographs and assessed AAC together. Information on smoking status, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors was collected.

Results: The crude prevalence of AAC in men (38.58%) was lower than that in women (41.37%). The adjusted odds ratios of AAC increased significantly across never, ex- and current smokers in both genders. Dose-response relationships were observed among current smokers for smoking amount (cigarettes/day), smoking duration (years) and cigarette pack-years in both genders (all p<0.01). The odds ratios decreased significantly (p=0.018) with longer duration of quitting in light ex-smoking men (<23.5 pack-years) but showed no beneficial effect (p=0.72) for heavy ex-smokers (>or=23.5 pack-years).

Conclusion: Smoking increased the risk of AAC in Chinese, while smoking cessation decreased the risk only in male light ex-smokers. Chest X-ray is a cheap and simple method to detect AAC, which should be an important warning signal for immediate smoking cessation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Aorta, Thoracic / pathology
  • Aortic Diseases / ethnology*
  • Aortic Diseases / pathology
  • Asians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Calcinosis / ethnology*
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*