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Ethnic differences in coronary artery calcium in a healthy cohort aged 60 to 69 years

Measurement of coronary artery calcium (CAC) has been proposed as a screening tool, but CAC levels may differ according to race and gender. Racial/ethnic and gender distributions of CAC were examined in a randomly selected cohort of 60- to 69-year-old healthy subjects. Demographic, race/ethnicity (R/E), and clinical characteristics and assessment of CAC were collected. There were 723 white/European, 105 African-American, 73 Hispanic, and 67 East Asian subjects (597 men, 369 women) included in this analysis. Men had a significantly higher prevalence of any CAC (score>10) than women (76% vs 41%; p<0.0001). For men, the unadjusted odds of having any CAC was 2.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3 to 3.8) for whites compared with African-Americans. For women, CAC scores were not significantly different across ethnic groups. After adjustment for coronary risk factors, African-American and East Asian R/E remained associated with a lower prevalence of CAC in men (adjusted odds ratios [ORs] 0.33 and 0.47, respectively), as well as older age (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.3), known hyperlipidemia (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.7), and history of hypertension (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4 to 3.3). In women, Asian R/E (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.1 to 5.7), history of smoking (adjusted OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.3 to 6.1), and known hyperlipidemia (adjusted OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.1) were associated with a higher prevalence of CAC independent of other risk factors. In conclusion, our data indicate that the presence of CAC varied significantly across selected race/ethnic groups independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

Authors: Fair JM; Kiazand A; Varady A; Mahbouba M; Norton L; Rubin GD; Iribarren C; Go AS; Hlatky MA; Fortmann SP

Am J Cardiol. 2007 Sep 15;100(6):981-5. Epub 2007 Jul 2.

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