Temporal Trends in the Population Attributable Risk for Cardiovascular Disease: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study
Background—The extent to which relative contributions of traditional cardiovascular factors risk to incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) may have changed over time remains unclear.
Methods and Results—We studied 13,541 participants (56% women, 26% black) in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, aged 52-66 years and free of CVD at exams in 1987-89, 1990-92, 1993-95, or 1996-98. At each exam, we estimated the population attributable risks (PAR) of traditional risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and smoking) for the 10-year incidence of CVD. Overall, the PAR of all risk factors combined appeared to decrease from 1987-89 to 1996-98 (0.58 to 0.53). The combined PAR was higher in women than men in 1987-89 (0.68 vs. 0.51, P<0.001) but not by 1996-98 (0.58 vs. 0.48, P=0.08). The combined PAR was higher in blacks than whites in 1987-89 (0.67 vs. 0.57, P=0.049), and this difference was more pronounced by 1996-98 (0.67 vs. 0.48, P=0.002). By 1996-98, the PAR of hypertension had become higher in women than men (P=0.02) and also appeared higher in blacks than whites (P=0.08). By 1996-98, the PAR of diabetes remained higher in women than men (P<0.0001) and in blacks than whites (P<0.0001).
Conclusions—The contribution to CVD of all traditional risk factors combined is greater in blacks than whites, and this difference may be increasing. The contributions of hypertension and diabetes remain especially high, in women as well as blacks. These findings underscore the continued need for individual as well as population approaches to CVD risk factor modification.
- cardiovascular disease risk factors
- cardiovascular disease prevention
- gender differences
- race and ethnicity
- Received December 28, 2013.
- Revision received May 27, 2014.
- Accepted June 13, 2014.