Association of Cardiovascular Health With Subclinical Disease and Incident Events: The Multi‐Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

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Polonsky, Tamar S. ; Ning, Hongyan ; Daviglus, Martha L. ; Liu, Kiang ; Burke, Gregory L. ; Cushman, Mary ; Eng, John ; Folsom, Aaron R. ; Lutsey, Pamela L. ; Nettleton, Jennifer A. ; Post, Wendy S. ; Sacco, Ralph L. ; Szklo, Moyses ; Lloyd‐Jones, Donald M. (2017)
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
  • Journal: Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease, volume 6, issue 3 (eissn: 2047-9980)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1161/JAHA.116.004894, pmc: PMC5524019
  • Subject: disparities | Epidemiology | Vascular Disease | Race and Ethnicity | Primary Prevention | Original Research | subclinical atherosclerosis risk factor | cardiovascular disease prevention | Lifestyle

Background Few adults have ideal cardiovascular health (CVH). We studied associations of an overall CVH score with subclinical cardiovascular disease and events. We assessed whether associations varied by race/ethnicity. Methods and Results Among 5961 participants in the Multi‐Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, components of CVH were measured at baseline, 2000‐2002: systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, fasting glucose, smoking, physical activity, diet, and body mass index. Levels were classified as ideal (2 points), intermediate (1 point), and poor (0 points) according to American Heart Association definitions. Points were summed to produce a CVH score (0‐7 low, 8‐11 moderate, 12‐14 high). Coronary artery calcium, carotid intima‐media thickness, and left ventricular mass were measured at baseline. Cardiovascular disease was defined as myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease death, resuscitated cardiac arrest, stroke, heart failure, or peripheral artery disease. Follow‐up was 10.3 years. Regression models were used to examine associations of the CVH score with subclinical disease and events, adjusting for age, sex, and education. Analyses were stratified by race/ethnicity. Adults with high or moderate CVH scores had significantly lower odds of coronary artery calcium and lower carotid intima‐media thickness and left ventricular mass than adults with low CVH scores. Adults with high or moderate CVH scores were 67% (95%CI 41% to 82%) and 37% (95%CI 22% to 49%) less likely, respectively, to experience a cardiovascular disease event than adults with low scores. There was no interaction with race/ethnicity. Conclusions There is a graded inverse association between CVH scores and measures of subclinical and overt cardiovascular disease that is similar across race/ethnic groups.