Passive smoking and aortic arch calcification in older Chinese never smokers: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study

Int J Cardiol. 2011 Apr 14;148(2):189-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2009.11.001. Epub 2009 Nov 27.


Objective: To study whether passive smoking is a risk factor for aortic arch calcification (AAC) among never smokers.

Background: We have previously reported that active smoking increases the risk of AAC, but the effect of passive smoking has not been reported.

Methods: We used baseline data of the Phase 1 Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study (GBCS). 7702 older Chinese never smokers from the Phase 1 GBCS were included. Information on passive smoking and potential confounders were collected by standardized interviews and laboratory assays. AAC was diagnosed from chest X-ray by two experienced radiologists. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios of AAC for passive smoking with adjustment for potential confounders.

Results: In women, the risk for aortic arch calcification (AAC) increased significantly with increasing duration of adulthood passive smoking exposure at home, at work and total duration of adulthood home and work exposure [adjusted odds ratio 1.24 (95% confidence interval 1.09-1.41) for high level of total exposure] (P for trend from 0.012 to 0.001). For passive smoking at home, at work and total exposure, significant trends of increasing severity of AAC with increasing duration of exposure were observed in men and women combined (P for trend from 0.05 to 0.002).

Conclusion: Passive smoking is a risk factor for aortic arch calcification. Studies of passive smoking and AAC, especially in developing countries can generate important local evidence to raise awareness and to support public health measures to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aorta, Thoracic / pathology
  • Aortic Arch Syndromes / ethnology*
  • Aortic Arch Syndromes / pathology
  • Asians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Calcinosis / ethnology*
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution