Background Cigarette smoking is a risk factor of coronary heart disease. Vascular calcification such as coronary artery calcium (CAC) and aortic calcium (AC) is associated with coronary heart disease. The authors hypothesised that cigarette smoking is associated with coronary artery and aortic calcifications in Japanese and Koreans with high smoking prevalence.
Methods Random samples from populations of 313 Japanese and 302 Korean men aged 40–49 years were examined for calcification of the coronary artery and aorta using electron beam CT. CAC and AC were quantified using the Agatston score. The authors examined the associations of cigarette smoking with CAC and AC after adjusting for conventional risk factors and alcohol consumption. Current and past smokers were combined and categorised into two groups using median pack-years as a cut-off point in each of Japanese and Koreans. The never-smoker group was used as a reference for the multiple logistic regression analyses.
Results The ORs of CAC (score ≥10) for smokers with higher pack-years were 2.9 in Japanese (p<0.05) and 1.3 in Koreans (non-significant) compared with never-smokers. The ORs of AC (score ≥100) for smokers with higher pack-years were 10.4 in Japanese (p<0.05) and 3.6 in Koreans (p<0.05).
Conclusion Cigarette smoking with higher pack-years is significantly associated with CAC and AC in Japanese men, while cigarette smoking with higher pack-years is significantly associated with AC but not significantly with CAC in Korean men.
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Funding This work was supported by grants R01 HL68200 and HL071561 from the National Institute of Health, Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Government budget code: 2004-E71001-00, 205-E71001-00)and grants B16790335, A13307016, A17209023 and A21249043 by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval The study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards of Shiga University of Medical Science, Shiga, Japan; the Korean University, Seoul, South Korea; and the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Data under ERA-JUMP study would be shared based on the request.
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