Abstract 3845: A Comparison of Subclinical Atherosclerosis as Assessed by Coronary Artery Calcium Levels in 40–49 Year Old Japanese and Caucasian Men in the United States
Background: Ethnic Japanese populations living in the US have been found to have higher coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence and mortality rates than Japanese in Japan. However, their rates still appear to be substantially lower than those for US Caucasians. The ERA-JUMP collaborative group has previously shown that coronary artery calcium (CAC) levels in Japanese men in Japan were significantly lower than those in Caucasian men in Pittsburgh.
Methods: In this study, additional CAC and clinical data were collected in 2004–2006 from three hundred 40 – 49 year old Japanese American (JA) male offspring of fathers in the Honolulu Heart Program cohort. (The fathers had a relatively low CHD risk factor profile in middle age when studied 40 years previously.) These data were compared to standardized data from the 40 – 49 year old Caucasian American (CA) men previously collected in Pittsburgh. CAC was assessed using electron beam CT with standardized central measurement by the Agatston method.
Results: Body mass index (BMI), pack years of smoking, and alcohol intake were not significantly different in the two groups of men. HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels were higher in JA and LDL cholesterol was higher in CA (p < 0.01). However, 23.8% of JA were on lipid lowering medications compared to 12.5% of CA (p < 0.01). Among JA, 34% were hypertensive compared to 15.2% of CA (p < 0.01). Diabetes was present in 13.1% of JA compared to 3.3% of CA (p < 0.01). CAC scores ≥ 10 were found in 32.8% of JA men vs 26.2% of CA men (NS).
Conclusions: Young, largely third generation immigrant American men of Japanese ancestry had surprisingly high levels of subclinical atherosclerosis as determined by coronary calcification scores. Western acculturation leading to adverse risk factor profiles may account for this. Although the incidence of clinically significant levels of CAC was higher than in Caucasian men the difference was not significant.