Send to

Choose Destination
Sleep Breath. 2013 Sep;17(3):1003-8. doi: 10.1007/s11325-012-0790-3. Epub 2012 Dec 4.

The relationship between cephalometric carotid artery calcification and Framingham Risk Score profile in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Author information

Division of General Oral Care, Kyushu University Hospital, 3-1-1 Maidashi Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, Japan.



The morbidity rate of arteriosclerosis becomes clinically manifested as acute cardiovascular events. In the progress of atherosclerosis, the carotid artery calcifies and sometimes appears as a calcified mass on a cephalometric radiograph. This study was designed to evaluate cardiovascular risks according to the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) between subjects with and without visible carotid artery calcification on a cephalogram.


Subjects diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were divided into two groups according to whether or not calcification was visible on a cephalometric radiograph in the carotid artery area, and the characteristic differences between the two groups were analyzed. The evaluated variables included age, BMI, apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), SpO2, ESS, blood pressure, medication history, diabetes mellitus (DM), drinking, smoking, and lipid-related measurements. FRSs for stroke, general cardiovascular disease (GCD), and coronary heart disease (CHD) were calculated. Statistical analyses were performed (SPSS 18.0) with significance defined as a two-tailed p value less than 0.05.


A total of 811 subjects completed the data collection (727 males, age 53.0 ± 12.5 years, AHI 31.7 ± 22.6, times/h). From FRSs, probabilities of a GCD, stroke, and CHD within 10 years were 16.0 ± 9.7, 9.8 ± 6.7, and 11.9 ± 8.3 %, respectively. Some 84 subjects exhibited calcification in the carotid arterial area. Calcification subjects were higher GCD risk and older than subjects who had no identified calcification (20.3 ± 10.1 vs 15.6 ± 20.3 %, p = 0.013, 58.8 ± 11.4 vs. 52.3 ± 12.5 years, p < 0.001). Although there is no significant difference in OSA-related variables and FRSs, subjects with visible calcifications have higher prevalence of high blood pressure medication and DM (p < 0.01).


While the presence of a calcified mass on a cephalometric radiograph is not diagnostic of atherosclerosis, this information indicates some cardiovascular risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center