Red cell distribution width (RDW) has been suggested to have a predictive potential for several cardiovascular diseases, but its association with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is unknown. We examined whether RDW is associated with the risk of AAA among 27,260 individuals from the population-based Malmö Diet and Cancer Study cohort. Data of baseline characteristics were collected during 1991–1996. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for AAA across quartiles of RDW. During a median follow-up of 21.7 years, 491 subjects developed AAA. After adjustment for other confounding factors, participants in the highest quartile of RDW experienced 61% increased risk of AAA as compared to those with the lowest quartile (HR = 1.61, CI = 1.20, 2.12). RDW showed similar relationship with severe (i.e. ruptured or surgically repaired) AAA or non-severe AAA (adjusted HR 1.58 and 1.60, respectively). The observed association between RDW and AAA risk was significant in current smokers (adjusted HR = 1.68, CI = 1.18, 2.38) but not in former smokers (adjusted HR = 1.13, CI = 0.72, 1.79), or never-smokers (adjusted HR = 1.77, CI = 0.74, 4.22). Elevated RDW is associated with increased future incidence of AAA, however the causal and pathophysiological mechanisms remain to be explored.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems