Prospective study of lung function and abdominal aortic aneurysm risk: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study

Yasuhiko Kubota, Aaron R. Folsom, Kunihiro Matsushita, David Couper, Weihong Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background and aims No prospective study has investigated whether individuals with respiratory impairments, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and restrictive lung disease (RLD), are at increased risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). We aimed to prospectively investigate whether those respiratory impairments are associated with increased AAA risk. Methods In 1987–1989, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study followed 14,269 participants aged 45–64 years, without a history of AAA surgery, through 2011. Participants were classified into four groups, “COPD” [forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) <lower limit of normal (LLN)], “RLD” (FEV1/FVC ≥ LLN and FVC < LLN), “respiratory symptoms with normal spirometry” (without RLD or COPD), and “normal” (without respiratory symptoms, RLD or COPD, reference group). Results During the 284,969 person-years of follow-up, 534 incident AAA events were documented. In an age, sex, and race-adjusted proportional hazards model, individuals with respiratory impairments had a significantly higher risk of AAA than the normal reference group. After adjustment for AAA risk factors, including smoking status and pack-years of smoking, AAA risk was no longer significant in the respiratory symptoms with normal spirometry group [HR (95% CI), 1.25 (0.98–1.60)], but was still increased in the other two groups [RLD: 1.45 (1.04–2.02) and COPD: 1.66 (1.34–2.05)]. Moreover, continuous measures of FEV1/FVC, FEV1 and FVC were associated inversely with risk of AAA. Conclusions In the prospective population-based cohort study, obstructive and restrictive spirometric patterns were associated with increased risk of AAA independent of smoking, suggesting that COPD and RLD may increase the risk of AAA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • COPD
  • Epidemiology
  • Lung function


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