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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2013 Feb;67(2):119-24. doi: 10.1136/jech-2011-200964. Epub 2012 Jul 29.

Influence of cigarette smoking on coronary artery and aortic calcium among random samples from populations of middle-aged Japanese and Korean men.

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Department of General Medicine, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.



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.


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.


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).


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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