The prevalence, incidence, progression, and risks of aortic valve sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Jul 1;63(25 Pt A):2852-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.04.018. Epub 2014 May 7.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to comprehensively review the epidemiology of aortic sclerosis (ASc) and its association with cardiovascular events.

Background: ASc, which is defined as thickening or calcification of the aortic valve without significant obstruction of blood flow, is a common finding on cardiac imaging.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE from inception to April 2013 for studies describing the epidemiology of ASc and performed a meta-analysis of the risk of adverse events using a random effects model.

Results: Twenty-two studies were identified from the systematic review. The prevalence of ASc increased in proportion to the average age of study participants, ranging from 9% in a study in which the mean age was 54 years to 42% in a study in which the mean age was 81 years. In total, 1.8% to 1.9% of participants with ASc had progression to clinical aortic stenosis per year. There was a 68% increased risk of coronary events in subjects with ASc (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.68; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.31 to 2.15), a 27% increased risk of stroke (HR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.60), a 69% increased risk of cardiovascular mortality (HR: 1.69; 95% CI: 1.32 to 2.15), and a 36% increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR: 1.36; 95% CI: 1.17 to 1.59).

Conclusions: ASc is a common finding that is more prevalent with older age. Despite low rates of progression to ASc, there is an independent increase in morbidity and mortality associated with the condition.

Keywords: aortic valve sclerosis; aortic valve stenosis; epidemiology; heart valve diseases; meta-analysis; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Valve Stenosis* / diagnosis
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis* / epidemiology
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis* / physiopathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Global Health
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors