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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2007 Mar;27(3):642-8. Epub 2006 Dec 21.

Aortic valve calcification: determinants and progression in the population.

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Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Aortic valve calcification (AVC) is considered degenerative. Recent data suggested links to atherosclerosis or coronary disease (CAD).


AVC and coronary artery calcifications (CAC) were prospectively assessed by Electron-Beam-Computed-Tomography in 262 population-based research participants > or = 60 years. AVC was frequent (27%) with aging (P<0.01) and in men (P<0.05). AVC was associated with diabetes, hypertension, higher body-mass-index, and serum glucose (all P<0.05). AVC was a marker of higher prevalence (P<0.01) and severity of CAD (CAC score: 441+/-802 versus 265+/-566, P<0.05) independently of age. After follow-up of 3.8+/-0.9 years, AVC score increased (94+/-271 versus 54+/-173, P<0.01, +11+/-32 U/year), faster with higher baseline AVC score (P<0.01). Compared with participants remaining free of AVC, de novo acquisition of AVC was associated with higher LDL-cholesterol (141+/-31 versus 121+/-27 mg/dL, P<0.05) and faster CAC progression (+78+/-87 versus +28+/-47 U/year, P<0.05). In multivariate analysis, LDL-cholesterol independently determined AVC acquisition while higher baseline AVC scores determined faster progression of existing AVC.


In the population, AVC is frequent with aging and atherosclerotic risk factors. AVC is a marker of subclinical CAD. AVC is progressive, appearing de novo with progressive atherosclerosis whereas established AVC progresses independently of atherosclerotic risk factors and faster with increasing initial AVC loads.

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