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Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 Apr;29(4):891-7. doi: 10.1007/s10554-012-0145-y. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Ankle-brachial index (ABI), abdominal aortic calcification (AAC), and coronary artery calcification (CAC): the Jackson heart study.

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University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA.


To examine the associations of peripheral atherosclerosis, assessed by the ABI at baseline with the extent of AAC and with CAC measured by MDCT at follow-up examination in the Jackson Heart Study cohort. Four categories of ABI: <0.90, 0.90-0.99, 1.00-1.39; >1.40. Presence of CAC/AAC was defined as scoring above the 75th percentile among participants with non-zero CT calcium scores. We conducted multivariable log-binomial models for this analysis examining the relationship between ABI and the presence of CAC or AAC using normal ABI (1.0 ≤ ABI ≤ 1.39) as the reference group. We estimated prevalence ratios adjusted for age, smoking, HTN, DM, BMI, LDL, HDL, CRP, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and use of lipid-lowering medication. There were 2,398 patients in this analysis (women: 65 %, average age 55 years). AAC scores were not significantly different between sex. CAC scores were significantly higher in males than females regardless of ABI groups. The prevalence of significant AAC was 1.7 times higher for ABI < 0.90 (PR = 1.70; 95 % CI = 1.26-2.28; p = 0.0004) and 1.57 times higher for ABI 0.90-0.99 (PR = 1.57; 95 % CI = 1.20-2.03; p = 0.0008) than the normal ABI; AAC prevalence did not differ between subjects with ABI > 1.40 compared to those with normal ABI. The prevalence of the significant CAC was higher for ABI < 0.90 (PR = 1.55; 95 % CI = 1.12-2.14; p value = 0.0081) and ABI 0.90-0.99 (PR = 1.60; 95 % CI = 1.05-2.46; p = 0.0402) compared to normal ABI; CAC prevalence did not differ between subjects with ABI > 1.40 compared to those with normal ABI. Lower ABI was significantly associated with the extent of AAC and CAC in this cohort. ABI can provide clinicians with an inexpensive additional tool to assess vascular health and cardiovascular risk without exposing the patient to ionizing radiation.

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