Aortic pulse wave velocity is associated with the presence and quantity of coronary artery calcium: A community-based study

Iftikhar J. Kullo, Lawrence F. Bielak, Stephen T. Turner, Patrick F. Sheedy, Patricia A. Peyser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We investigated the relationship of aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), a measure of central arterial stiffness, with the presence and quantity of coronary artery calcium (CAC) in a community-based sample of adults without prior history of heart attack or stroke (n=401, mean age 59.8 years, 53% men). ECG-gated waveforms of the right carotid and right femoral artery were obtained by applanation tonometry, and aPWV was calculated using established methods. CAC was measured noninvasively by electron beam computed tomography, and CAC score was calculated. aPWV was significantly correlated with log(CAC +1; r=0.41; P<0.0001) and pulse pressure (r=0.47; P<0.0001). Multivariable logistic and linear regression models were used to identify independent predictors of the presence and quantity of CAC, respectively. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, aPWV was associated with the presence of CAC (P=0.011) after adjustment for age, male sex, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, diabetes, history of smoking, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and use of hypertension and statin medications. In multivariable linear regression analyses, aPWV was significantly associated with log(CAC +1) after adjustment for the covariates enumerated above (P<0.0001). aPWV remained significantly associated with both the presence and quantity of CAC even after the additional adjustment for diastolic blood pressure. We conclude that aPWV is related to subclinical coronary atherosclerosis independent of conventional risk factors (including indices of blood pressure) and may be a biomarker of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Blood pressure
  • Calcium
  • Epidemiology
  • Imaging
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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