Studies have reported a lower burden of calcified atherosclerotic plaque in coronary arteries in African-Americans than in whites. Findings from autopsy studies of sudden cardiac death have suggested a link between left ventricular hypertrophy and severity of coronary atherosclerosis. Echocardiograms and cardiac computed tomograms were analyzed in 334 African-American (84% hypertensive) and 196 white (66% hypertensive) adults with no history of coronary heart disease or revascularization procedures at study entry. The relation of coronary artery calcium (CAC) score to left ventricular mass and left ventricular mass indexed to body surface area was assessed by Spearman's correlations and mixed linear models. Covariates included age, gender, field center, weight, height, systolic blood pressure, number of antihypertensive medications, diabetes, total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and current smoking and alcohol consumption. In African-Americans, a significant and independent association between CAC score and left ventricular mass or left ventricular mass indexed to body surface area was present with the 2 analytic strategies. Spearman's correlation coefficients for CAC score with left ventricular mass and left ventricular mass indexed to body surface area were 0.14 (p = 0.015) and 0.13 (p = 0.025), respectively, after multivariable adjustment. In whites, the associations of CAC score with measurements of left ventricular mass were weaker and only marginally significant in mixed linear models. In conclusion, these findings suggest that CAC reflects a different risk burden between African-Americans and whites, and future studies examining the prognostic implications of CAC in African-Americans should consider the potential association between CAC and left ventricular hypertrophy. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.