BackgroundArteriosclerosis can be reflected in various aspect of the artery, including atherosclerotic plaque formation or stiffening on the arterial wall. Both arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis are important and closely associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between systemic arteriosclerosis and multi-site atherosclerotic plaques.MethodsThe study was designed as an observational cross-sectional study. A total of 1178 participants (mean age 67.4 years; 52.2% male) enrolled into the observational study from 2010 to 2017. Systemic arteriosclerosis was assessed by carotid femoral artery pulse wave velocity (CF-PWV) and multi-site atherosclerotic plaques (MAP, > = 2 of the below sites) were reflected in the carotid or subclavian artery, abdominal aorta and lower extremities arteries using ultrasound equipment. The associations were assessed by multivariable logistic regression.ResultsThe prevalence of CF-PWV > 12 m/s and MAP were 40.2% and 74.4%. Atherosclerotic plaques in 3 sites were more common in male compared with that in female (48.9% versus 36.9%, p < 0.05). All CVD factors were worse in participants with MAP than that with <=1 site. Participants with CF-PWV > 12 m/s corresponded to a mean 82% probability of MAP with age and sex-adjusted. Patients with peripheral artery disease showed the highest odds ratio (OR) (3.88) for MAP, followed by smoking (2.485), CF-PWV > 12 m/s (2.25), dyslipidemia (1.89), male (1.84), stroke (1.64), hypoglycemic agents (1.56) and age (1.09) (all p < 0.001).ConclusionsMAP was highly prevalent in this cohort, with male showing a higher prevalence than female. Higher systemic arteriosclerosis was independently associated with MAP, which indicating the supplementary value of arteriosclerosis for the earlier identification and intervention on MAP.Trial registrationClinical Trial, URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02569268.