Aortic arch calcification and vascular disease: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study

Cardiology. 2010;117(4):260-4. doi: 10.1159/000323285. Epub 2011 Jan 20.


Objective: To examine the association between aortic arch calcification (AAC) and vascular disease in an older Chinese sample.

Methods: For this study, 30,203 Chinese aged 50-85 years were recruited with baseline information on socioeconomic position, lifestyle and vascular risk factors. The presence and severity of AAC were diagnosed independently from chest X-ray by two radiologists.

Results: The age-adjusted prevalence of AAC was significantly higher in women than men [34.6% (95% CI 33.9-35.3) vs. 27.9% (95% CI 26.8-28.8), p < 0.001]. Severity of AAC was significantly associated with physician-diagnosed ischemic heart disease (adjusted OR = 1.55, 95% CI 1.35-1.79) and combined vascular disease (OR = 1.48, 95% CI 1.30-1.69) after adjusting for multiple potential confounders. Increasing severity of AAC was associated with increased risk for ischemic heart disease and vascular disease (p for trend = 0.02 to <0.001). No association between AAC and stroke was found.

Conclusions: AAC was strongly and independently associated with vascular disease, suggesting that assessment of AAC from chest X-ray, which is noninvasive and relatively inexpensive, can provide useful information for risk stratification of vascular disease, and should be routinely incorporated in chest X-ray examination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aorta, Thoracic
  • Aortic Diseases*
  • Calcinosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index