BACKGROUND: Anastomotic leakage (AL) is the most feared complication of colorectal surgery. Atherosclerosis is suggested to have a detrimental effect on anastomotic healing. This study aimed to analyze the calcium score, a measure for atherosclerosis, as a risk factor for AL. STUDY DESIGN: The calcium scores of colorectal patients operated on in 2 Dutch university medical centers were determined using a computed tomography scan and calcium scoring software. The aorta, common iliac arteries, internal and external iliac arteries were studied. Additionally, patient- and operation-related factors were scored. RESULTS: A total of 122 patients were included. In patients with AL, calcium scores were significantly higher in the left common iliac artery (561.4 vs 156.0, P = .028), right common iliac artery (542.0 vs 144.4, P = .041), both common iliac arteries together (1,103.3 vs 301.9, P = .046), and the left internal iliac artery (716.3 vs 35.3, P = .044). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with higher calcium scores in the iliacal arteries have an increased leakage risk. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.