Mortality rates in smokers and nonsmokers in the presence or absence of coronary artery calcification.
The aim of this study was to further explore the interplay between smoking status, coronary artery calcium (CAC), and all-cause mortality. Smoking is a risk factor for death across the entire spectrum of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis. Smokers with any CAC had significantly higher mortality than smokers without CAC, a finding with implications for smokers undergoing lung cancer CT-based screening. However, the absence of CAC might not be as useful a "negative risk factor" in active smokers, because this group has mortality rates similar to nonsmokers with mild-to-moderate atherosclerosis.