Red cell distribution width (RDW) is a measure of the variability of erythrocyte volumes. RDW has been associated with incidence of cardiovascular diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms for the increased cardiovascular risk are still unclear. This study aimed to examine associations of RDW and coronary atherosclerosis in the general population. Computed tomography was performed and RDW was measured in fresh blood from 5772 subjects (aged 50–64 years) from the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS). Multinomial logistic regression was conducted to examine the associations between RDW and coronary artery calcium score (CACS). A total of 3902 (67.6%) individuals had low CACS (≤10), 18.6% had moderate CACS (>10 and ≤100) and 13.8% had high CACS (>100). The proportion with high CACS was 11.7%, 12.7%, 13.7% and 18.3%, respectively, in quartile 1–4 of RDW. After controlling for traditional risk factors, there were significant associations between RDW and high CACS: odds ratio = 1.51, 95% confidence interval: 1.18–1.94, and P =.001, for 4th vs 1st quartile of RDW. Elevated RDW is associated with coronary artery calcification in the middle-aged general population. RDW could be a reproducible and easily assessable biomarker of coronary calcification and cardiovascular risk.

Sidor (från-till)445-452
Tidigt onlinedatum2021
StatusPublished - 2022

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Kardiologi


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