Abstract 14203: Risk Factors for the Development of Carotid Artery Plaque: The Framingham Heart Study
Background: Internal carotid artery plaque defined as maximum intima-media thickness (IMT) >1.5 mm is a predictor of cardiovascular events. Risk factors predicting new plaque formation are not well studied in longitudinally followed cohorts. Materials and
Methods: Longitudinal follow-up of 1249 members of the Framingham offspring cohort without carotid artery plaque (IMT< 1.5 mm) at baseline. Framingham Risk Score (FRS) variables, history of blood pressure and lipid lowering therapy were obtained at baseline visit (1995-1998) while IMT plaque was measured at two visits: 1995-1998 and 2004-2007. New plaque formation served as outcome for multivariable logistic regression with risk factors, blood pressure and lipid-lowering therapies as independent variables.
Results: Average age at baseline was 54.1 years with 38.0% males. New plaque IMT developed in 594/1249 participants during a mean follow-up of 9.5 years. New plaque formation was associated with age, sex, total cholesterol, and smoking. Diabetes was of borderline significance (Table below).
Conclusion: New carotid artery plaque formation is principally associated with two modifiable risk factors: total cholesterol and smoking. The development of plaque might be decreased by focused and aggressive interventions targeting these two risk factors.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.