Age-dependent associations between blood pressure and coronary artery calcification in asymptomatic adults

Lawrence F. Bielak, Stephen T. Turner, Stanley S. Franklin, Patrick F. Sheedy, Patricia A. Peyser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Objective: The age-dependent roles of the components of blood pressure (BP) in the development of coronary artery calcification (CAC) are poorly understood. Design: We examined systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP) as predictors of CAC in 830 asymptomatic, non-diabetic participants in a community-based study who were aged ≥ 30 years and free of antihypertensive therapy or known cardiovascular disease. Methods: CAC was measured with electron beam computed tomography. Tobit regression was used in two age groups (< 50 years and ≥ 50 years) to evaluate the relationship of BP components with presence and quantity of CAC, adjusting for traditional coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors. Results: Among those aged < 50 years, CAC was positively associated with SBP, DBP and MAP, considering each pressure individually and DBP was the strongest predictor (P = 0.0088). Among those aged ≥ 50 years, CAC was positively associated with SBP (P = 0.0257) and PP (P = 0.0028), considered individually. When SBP and DBP were in the same model, presence and CAC quantity were positively associated with SBP (P = 0.0024) and negatively with DBP (P = 0.0401), favoring PP as the best predictor of CAC. Conclusions: SBP, DBP and PP have age-dependent roles in the prediction of CAC similar to their roles in prediction of future CAD events. These observations provide new evidence supporting the measurement of CAC as a surrogate of target organ disease and subsequently, as a predictor of increased risk of future CAD events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004



  • Blood pressure
  • Calcinosis
  • Risk factors
  • X-ray computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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