Pulmonary function is associated with distal aortic calcium, not proximal aortic distensibility. MESA lung study

D.A. Mcallister, W. Macnee, D. Duprez, E.A. Hoffman, J. Vogel-Claussen, D.A. Bluemke, M.H. Criqui, M. Budoff, R. Jiang, R.G. Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Forced expiratory volume in one second strongly predicts mortality from cardiovascular disease. FEV1has been associated with aortic stiffness a strong independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality. However, the anatomical site and possible mechanisms linking aortic stiffness and lung function are unknown. We therefore examined if FEV1and CT percent emphysema were associated with calcification of the abdominal aorta or reduced distensibility of the proximal thoracic aorta.The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) measured aortic calcification on cardiac and abdominal CT scans and proximal aortic distensibility using magnetic resonance among participants aged 45-84 years without clinical cardiovascular disease. Spirometry was measured following ATS/ERS guidelines and percent emphysema was measured in the lung fields of cardiac CT scans. Multivariate analyses adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity and cardiovascular risk factors. Of 1,917 participants with aortic distensibility measures, 13% were current and 38% were former smokers. Eighteen percent had airflow limitation without asthma. FEV1 was associated with the extent of distal aortic calcification (0.76; 95%CI 0.60-0.97, p = 0.02) but not proximal aortic calcification or proximal aortic distensibility (-0.04 mmHg(-1); 95%CI -0.16-0.09 mmHg(-1), p = 0.60). Percent emphysema was associated with neither measure. FEV1was associated with severity of distal aortic calcification where it was present independently of smoking and other cardiovascular risk factors but not with distensibility or calcification of the proximal aorta.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalCOPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


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