AIMS: We examined associations between cardiovascular risk factors and
coronary calcification assessed by electron-beam tomography (EBT) in an
unselected population of older subjects. METHODS AND RESULTS: The
Rotterdam Coronary Calcification Study is a population-based study in
subjects > =55 years. Participants underwent EBT scanning. Coronary
calcification was quantified according to the Agatston score.
Cardiovascular risk factors were assessed 7 years before and concurrently
to scanning. We used the first 2013 participants for the present analyses.
Risk factors assessed 7 years before scanning were strongly associated
with calcium score. Associations with blood pressure and cholesterol
attenuated when measured concurrently to scanning. Although the number of
risk factors was strongly associated with a high calcium score in
asymptomatic subjects, 29% of the men and 15% of the women without risk
factors had a high calcium score. CONCLUSIONS: This population-based study
in older subjects shows that cardiovascular risk factors are associated
with coronary calcification. Associations were stronger for risk factors
measured at earlier age. Almost 30% of the men and 15% of the women
without risk factors had extensive coronary calcification.