Objective: We investigated the association between systemic calcified atherosclerosis and airflow limitation.
Methods: A prospective cohort of 134 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (male:female = 124:10; mean age, 65.4 years) and 101 smokers without airflow limitation (male:female = 87:14; mean age, 51.8 y) were assessed by computed tomography, pulmonary function test, and blood sampling. We measured the extent of calcification in the major thoracic arteries (thoracic aorta, coronary arteries, aortic/mitral valvular annuli, and proximal neck vessels) as indicators of systemic calcified atherosclerosis.
Results: After adjustment for age and smoking, total calcium score correlated with volume fraction of emphysematous lung (r = 0.19, P = 0.005) and diffusing capacity (r = − 0.15, P = 0.028). Multivariate logistic regression showed significant associations between total calcium score and forced expiratory volume at 1 second/forced vital capacity (P = 0.016) and between coronary calcium score and forced expiratory volume at 1 second/forced vital capacity (P = 0.016; P = 0.004) and diffusing capacity (P = 0.041), independent of age, body mass index, and smoking amount.
Conclusions: The amount of calcification was associated with the extent of emphysema on computed tomography and airflow limitation.
From the Departments of *Radiology Research Institute of Radiology, †Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and ‡Health Promotion Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Received for publication October 30, 2012; accepted April 24, 2013.
Reprints: Joon Beom Seo, MD, PhD, Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, 86 Asanbyeongwon-Gil, Songpa-Gu, Seoul 138–736, Korea (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org); co-correspondence: Sang Do Lee, MD, PhD, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, 388–1, Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138–736, Korea (e-mail: email@example.com).
This work was supported by the grant of the Korean Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A040153).
We declare that we have no conflicts of interest in the authorship or publication of this contribution.