Manifestation of cardiovascular disease (CVD) occurs with clear sex differences. Carotid stiffness (CS) parameters are increasingly used for CVD risk assessment but the sex-specific association with CVD risk factors as well as association patterns between CS parameters are largely unknown, which we investigated in SAPALDIA population-based cohort participants.; Risk factors of 2545 participants without clinically manifest disease were evaluated in 2001-2003 and different CS parameters were assessed in carotid ultrasound scans in 2010-2011. Stratified and non-stratified mixed linear models and multivariate regression analyses were used to examine sex-specific associations, differences and association patterns of single risk factors and CS parameters.; HDL cholesterol was the only significant protective determinant of reduced CS for both sexes (ranges of CS parameters: -3.7; -0.8% of changes in geometric mean per 1SD of the risk factor on an inverted scale) and significant adverse risk factors were BMI (-0.5; 4.7%), systolic (-1.23; 4.7%) and diastolic blood pressure (1.4; 4.4%), heart rate (2.7; 7.9%), C-reactive protein (0.6; 3.3%) and smoking (-2.82; 1%), all p-values of multivariate analyses were <0.01. Sex differences with stiffer CS parameters in men were observed for increased heart rate (p = 0.001) and LDL cholesterol (p < 0.001) and in women for triglyceride (p < 0.003). Similar association patterns were found for most CS parameters.; Sex-specific associations of cardiovascular risk factors may reflect a sex-specific burden of atherosclerotic risk factors and similar association patterns across different CS parameters within men and women may allow the use of CS parameters in an exchangeable manner.