Volume 81 (2017) Issue 12 Pages 1846-1853
Background:There has been no large-scale observational study examining the association between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or airflow limitation and carotid atherosclerosis in the general population across a wide range of generations in Asia. In the present study we assessed the association between airflow limitation and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in a general Japanese population, with consideration of a comprehensive array of cardiovascular risk factors.
Methods and Results:In all, 2,099 community-dwelling Japanese subjects were included in the study. Airflow limitation was defined by spirometry. Maximum and mean IMT values were measured using carotid ultrasonography. Among the subjects, 352 (16.8%) had airflow limitation. The geometric mean values of maximum IMT and mean IMT were significantly higher in subjects with than without airflow limitation (1.27 vs. 1.18 mm, respectively, for maximum IMT; 0.73 mm vs. 0.72 mm, respectively, for mean IMT) and increased with the severity of airflow limitation after adjustment for conventional risk factors, including smoking habits and serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. It should be noted that the magnitude of these associations was greater in the middle-aged (40–64 years) than elderly (≥65 years) subgroup.
Conclusions:The findings of the present study suggest that airflow limitation is a significant risk factor for carotid atherosclerosis, especially in midlife, in the general Japanese population.