Many traditional and nontraditional risk factors contribute to vascular calcification among maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients. It is not clear whether coronary artery calcification (CAC) delineates a higher mortality risk independent of known risk factors. We examined 6-year (10/2001-9/2007) survival of 166 MHD patients, aged 53 +/- 13 years, with baseline CAC scores. Patients were grouped into four CAC groups: 0, 1-100, 101-400, and 400+. The 101-400 and 400+ groups were associated with a significantly higher adjusted risk of death than CAC 0 with hazard ratios (HR) 8.5 (95% CI: 1.1-48.1, p = 0.02) and 13.3 (95% CI: 1.3-65.1, p = 0.01), respectively, independent of demographics, comorbidity, lipids and other cardiovascular risks, surrogates of bone disease, nutritional and inflammatory markers and dialysis dose. Total CAC [HR 6.7 (1.1-21.5, p = 0.03)] followed by the presence of CAC in the left main [4.6 (2.2-9.8, p = 0.001)] and left anterior descending artery [4.3 (2.1-14.2, p = 0.001)] were strong independent predictors of mortality even after adjusting for above covariates. Total and vessel-specific CAC predict mortality in MHD patients independent of traditional and nontraditional risk factors.