Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We examined the cross-sectional association between novel risk factors and coronary artery calcium (CAC) measured using electron beam computed tomography or multidetector computed tomography among 2,018 patients with CKD. Using the total Agatston scores, the participants were classified as having no (0), moderate (>0-100), or high (>100) CAC. After adjustment for age, gender, race, study sites, cigarette smoking, previous cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes, the use of lipid-lowering drugs, body mass index, waist circumference, and cystatin C, several novel risk factors were significantly associated with high CAC. For example, the odds ratios of high CAC associated with 1 SD greater level of risk factors were 1.20 (95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.38) for serum calcium, 1.21 (95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.41) for serum phosphate, 0.83 (95% confidence interval 0.71 to 0.97) for log (total parathyroid hormone), 1.21 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.43) for log (homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance), and 1.23 (95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.45) for hemoglobin A1c. Additionally, the multivariate-adjusted odds ratio for 1 SD greater level of cystatin C was 1.31 (95% confidence interval 1.14 to 1.50). Serum high-sensitive C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and homocysteine were not statistically significantly associated with high CAC. In conclusion, these data indicate that abnormal calcium and phosphate metabolism, insulin resistance, and declining kidney function are associated with the prevalence of high CAC, independent of the traditional risk factors in patients with CKD. Additional studies are warranted to examine the causal effect of these risk factors on CAC in patients with CKD.
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