CHD Risk Factors In African-Americans
Few studies have reported the incidence of coronary heart disease and its relationship to risk factors in African-Americans. As part of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, baseline risk factors were tested as predictors of incident coronary heart disease over 7-10 years of follow-up, 1987-1997, in four U.S. communities (Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Washington County, Maryland). The sample included 14,026 men and women (2,298 black women [BW]; 5,686 white women [WW]; 1,396 black men [BM]; and 4,682 white men [WM] aged 45-64 who were free of clinical coronary heart disease at baseline. Age-adjusted incidence rates for the 7-10 year period (95% confidence interval) for coronary heart disease were BW 5.0(4.1-6.1), WW 4.0(3.5-4.6), BM 10.7(8.9-12.8), and WM 12.6(11.5-13.8). In multivariate analysis, traditional risk factors were generally predictive in blacks as in whites. Hypertension was a particularly strong risk factor in black women, with hazard rate ratios (HR) being: BW 4.12, WW 2.0, BM 1.85, and WM 1.59. Diabetes was predictive, but HRs were somewhat less in blacks than in whites: BW 1.88, WW 3.34, BM 1.70, and WW 2.14. LDL cholesterol was similarly predictive in all race/gender groups, HR 1.19-1.36 per S.D. LDL cholesterol increment. HDL cholesterol appeared somewhat more protective in whites than in blacks. Although black/white differences in risk factor associations exist, there were more similarities than differences in coronary heart disease risk factors and incidence. Findings from this study, along with clinical trial evidence showing efficacy, support aggressive management of traditional risk factors in blacks as in whites. Understanding of the intriguing racial differences in risk factor prediction may be an important part of further understanding the causes of coronary heart disease and may lead to better methods of prevention and treatment.