Coronary artery calcium (CAC), which is detected using computed tomography scanning, is a well-established indicator of subclinical atherosclerosis. The CAC score is independently associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) outcomes and provides improved predictive values for estimating the risk of ASCVD beyond traditional risk factors. Thus, CAC is considered to have important implications for reclassification as a decision aid among individuals in the preclinical phase and as the primary prevention of ASCVD. This review is focused on epidemiological evidence on CAC in asymptomatic population-based samples from Western countries and Japan. We also discuss the usability of CAC as a tool for assessing ASCVD risk and its role in the primary prevention of ASCVD. A lack of evidence for the CAC score in ASCVD risk assessment beyond traditional risk factors in populations other than those in Western countries (including Japan) warrants further investigation. Clinical trials are also necessary to demonstrate the usefulness and safety of CAC screening in the primary prevention of ASCVD.