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1.  Association of Electrocardiographically Determined Left Ventricular Mass With Incident Diabetes, 1985–1986 to 2010–2011 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(3):645-647.
Electrocardiographic indices reflecting left ventricular hypertrophy are associated with incident diabetes in clinical populations at risk for coronary heart disease. We tested whether electrocardiographically determined left ventricular mass was positively associated with incident diabetes in a population sample.
Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study participants (n = 4,739) were followed from 1985–1986 to 2010–2011 for incident diabetes. Validated sex- and race-specific formulas were applied to standard electrocardiograms to determine left ventricular mass.
Over 25 years, 444 participants developed diabetes (9.4%). After adjustment for demographic, behavioral, and clinical covariates, participants in the highest quartile of left ventricular mass index (LVMI) were twice as likely to develop diabetes than participants in the lower three quartiles (hazard ratio 2.61 [95% CI 2.16–3.17]). Neither Cornell voltage nor Cornell voltage product was associated with incident diabetes in fully adjusted models.
Electrocardiographically determined LVMI may be a useful noninvasive marker for identifying adults at risk for diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3579342  PMID: 23160723
2.  The Association between Sleep Characteristics and Prothrombotic Markers in a Population Based Sample: Chicago Area Sleep Study 
Sleep medicine  2014;15(8):973-978.
Short sleep duration and poor quality sleep are associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality; however, the underlying pathophysiologic process remains unclear. Sleep apnea may confound the association because of its association with formation of thrombi, the vascular occlusive process in CHD. We tested whether sleep duration and quality were associated with prothrombotic biomarkers in adults with a low probability of apnea.
We included adults aged 35–64 years recruited from the community and who had an apnea hypopnea index <15 after one night of screening (n=506). Sleep duration and maintenance were determined from 7 days of wrist actigraphy; daytime sleepiness was estimated using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Factor VIII (FVIII), von Willebrand factor (VWF), thrombin antithrombin complexes (TAT), and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) were measured in fasting blood.
Sleep duration, maintenance and daytime sleepiness were not associated with FVIII, vWf or TAT. Sleep maintenance was modestly inversely associated with higher levels of log transformed PAI-1 (β= −0.07, SE =0.03 per 4.8%, p=0.04) following adjustment for demographic characteristics, cardiovascular risk factors and BMI.
Mild impairment in sleep was modestly associated with activation of coagulation; further study is needed to evaluate the role of fibrinolytic factors in sleep-mediated coronary thrombosis.
PMCID: PMC4117713  PMID: 24924657
sleep duration; sleep apnea; hemostatic factors; procoagulants
3.  Associations between Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Middle-Aged Adults: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study 
Atherosclerosis  2014;235(2):599-605.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an obesity-related condition associated with cardiovascular mortality. Yet, whether or not NAFLD is independently related to atherosclerosis is unclear. In a population-based cross-sectional sample of middle-aged adults free from liver or heart disease, we tested the hypothesis that NAFLD is associated with subclinical atherosclerosis (coronary artery (CAC) and abdominal aortic calcification (AAC)) independent of obesity.
Participants from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study with CT quantification of liver fat, CAC and AAC were included (n=2,424). NAFLD was defined as liver attenuation ≤ 40 Hounsfield Units after exclusion of other causes of liver fat. CAC and AAC presence was defined as Agatston score > 0.
Mean participant age was 50.1±3.6 years, (42.7% men, 50.0% black) and BMI was 30.6±7.2 kg/m2. The prevalence of NAFLD, CAC, and AAC was 9.6%, 27.1%, and 51.4%. NAFLD participants had increased prevalence of CAC (37.9% vs. 26.0%, p<0.001) and AAC (65.1% vs. 49.9%, p<0.001). NAFLD remained associated with CAC (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.001–1.82) and AAC (OR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.29–2.35) after adjustment for demographics and health behaviors. However, these associations were attenuated after additional adjustment for visceral adipose tissue (CAC OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.74–1.48, AAC OR=1.20; 95% CI, 0.86–1.67). There was no interaction by race or sex.
In contrast to prior research, these findings suggest that obesity attenuates the relationship between NAFLD and subclinical atherosclerosis. Further studies evaluating the role of NAFLD duration on atherosclerotic progression and cardiovascular events are needed.
PMCID: PMC4124046  PMID: 24956534
calcium; cardiovascular diseases; epidemiology; imaging; liver; obesity; risk factors
4.  Developmental trajectories of physical activity and television viewing during adolescence among girls: National Growth and Health Cohort Study 
BMC Public Health  2015;15:667.
Analytic methodology for investigating physical activity patterns over time has been limited. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the group-based trajectory analysis process for identifying developmental physical activity (PA) and television (TV) viewing trajectories and the risk factor of PA trajectories, and for examining a relationship between PA and TV viewing trajectories among adolescent girls.
Secondary analysis was conducted using the National Growth and Health Study (NGHS) dataset. The NGHS administered the Habitual Activity Questionnaire and TV viewing questionnaire to White and Black girls at age 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, and 19 years. Group-based trajectory analyses were conducted to identify distinct PA trajectories. Race was chosen to present an example of the risk factor analysis and was added as a predictor in the trajectory model. Dual-trajectory analysis was conducted to estimate probabilities of TV viewing trajectory groups conditional on the PA trajectory groups.
A total of 2,155 girls (52 % Black) were included in the data analysis. We identified four PA trajectories: substantially decreasing from high PA (PA group 1, 9.4 %), maintaining moderate PA (PA group 2, 31.6 %), maintaining high PA (PA group 3, 5.8 %), and decreasing from moderate PA (PA group 4, 53.2 %). A significantly lower proportion of Black girls had high PA levels at baseline and maintained their baseline PA than White girls. Most girls who were classified as maintaining high PA (88 %) were also classified as decreasing TV viewing.
A group-based trajectory approach provides new insights about the patterns of maintaining moderate or high levels of PA that exist among adolescent girls. However, a lower proportion of Black girls followed the maintenance patterns than White girls. The behavioral development of PA and TV viewing may be intertwined among adolescent girls.
PMCID: PMC4502939  PMID: 26174016
Latent class growth model; Group-based trajectory model; Dual trajectories; National Growth and Health Study; Physical activity patterns; Television viewing
5.  Associations of chronic stress burden, perceived stress, and traumatic stress with cardiovascular disease prevalence and risk factors in the HCHS/SOL Sociocultural Ancillary Study 
Psychosomatic medicine  2014;76(6):468-475.
The current study examined multiple stress indicators (chronic, perceived, traumatic) in relation to prevalent coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and major cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors (i.e., diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, current smoking) in the multi-site Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) Sociocultural Ancillary Study (2010–2011).
Participants were 5313 men and women, 18–74 years old, representing diverse Hispanic/Latino ethnic backgrounds, who underwent a comprehensive baseline clinical exam and sociocultural exam with measures of stress.
Chronic stress burden was related to a higher prevalence of CHD after adjusting for sociodemographic, behavioral and biological risk factors [OR (95% CI) = 1.22, (1.10–1.36)] and related to stroke prevalence in the model adjusted for demographic and behavioral factors [OR (95% CI) = 1.26, (1.03–1.55∂)]. Chronic stress was also related to a higher prevalence of diabetes [OR=1.20, (1.11–1.31)] and hypertension [OR=1.10 (1.02–1.19)] in individuals free from CVD (N=4926). Perceived stress [OR=1.03 (1.01–1.05)] and traumatic stress [OR=1.15 (1.05–1.26)] were associated with a higher prevalence of smoking. Participants who reported a greater number of lifetime traumatic events also unexpectedly showed a lower prevalence of diabetes [OR=.89 (.83–.97)] and hypertension [OR=.88 (.82–.93)]. Effects were largely consistent across age and sex groups.
The study underscores the utility of examining multiple indicators of stress in relation to health, since the direction and consistency of associations may vary across distinct stress conceptualizations. In addition, the study suggests that chronic stress is related to higher CVD risk and prevalence in Hispanics/Latinos, the largest U.S. ethnic minority group.
PMCID: PMC4349387  PMID: 24979579
Cardiovascular Disease; Coronary Heart Disease; Hispanic; Latino; Stress
6.  Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2011 Update 
Circulation  2010;123(4):e18-e209.
Each year, the American Heart Association (AHA), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and other government agencies, brings together the most up-to-date statistics on heart disease, stroke, other vascular diseases, and their risk factors and presents them in its Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update. The Statistical Update is a valuable resource for researchers, clinicians, healthcare policy makers, media professionals, the lay public, and many others who seek the best national data available on disease morbidity and mortality and the risks, quality of care, medical procedures and operations, and costs associated with the management of these diseases in a single document. Indeed, since 1999, the Statistical Update has been cited more than 8700 times in the literature (including citations of all annual versions). In 2009 alone, the various Statistical Updates were cited ≈1600 times (data from ISI Web of Science). In recent years, the Statistical Update has undergone some major changes with the addition of new chapters and major updates across multiple areas. For this year’s edition, the Statistics Committee, which produces the document for the AHA, updated all of the current chapters with the most recent nationally representative data and inclusion of relevant articles from the literature over the past year and added a new chapter detailing how family history and genetics play a role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Also, the 2011 Statistical Update is a major source for monitoring both cardiovascular health and disease in the population, with a focus on progress toward achievement of the AHA’s 2020 Impact Goals. Below are a few highlights from this year’s Update.
Death Rates From CVD Have Declined, Yet the Burden of Disease Remains High
The 2007 overall death rate from CVD (International Classification of Diseases 10, I00–I99) was 251.2 per 100 000. The rates were 294.0 per 100 000 for white males, 405.9 per 100 000 for black males, 205.7 per 100 000 for white females, and 286.1 per 100 000 for black females. From 1997 to 2007, the death rate from CVD declined 27.8%. Mortality data for 2007 show that CVD (I00–I99; Q20–Q28) accounted for 33.6% (813 804) of all 2 243 712 deaths in 2007, or 1 of every 2.9 deaths in the United States.
On the basis of 2007 mortality rate data, more than 2200 Americans die of CVD each day, an average of 1 death every 39 seconds. More than 150 000 Americans killed by CVD (I00–I99) in 2007 were <65 years of age. In 2007, nearly 33% of deaths due to CVD occurred before the age of 75 years, which is well before the average life expectancy of 77.9 years.
Coronary heart disease caused ≈1 of every 6 deaths in the United States in 2007. Coronary heart disease mortality in 2007 was 406 351. Each year, an estimated 785 000 Americans will have a new coronary attack, and ≈470 000 will have a recurrent attack. It is estimated that an additional 195 000 silent first myocardial infarctions occur each year. Approximately every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and approximately every minute, someone will die of one.
Each year, ≈795 000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. Approximately 610 000 of these are first attacks, and 185 000 are recurrent attacks. Mortality data from 2007 indicate that stroke accounted for ≈1 of every 18 deaths in the United States. On average, every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. From 1997 to 2007, the stroke death rate fell 44.8%, and the actual number of stroke deaths declined 14.7%.
In 2007, 1 in 9 death certificates (277 193 deaths) in the United States mentioned heart failure.
Prevalence and Control of Traditional Risk Factors Remains an Issue for Many Americans
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005–2008 indicate that 33.5% of US adults ≥20 years of age have hypertension (Table 7-1). This amounts to an estimated 76 400 000 US adults with hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension is nearly equal between men and women. African American adults have among the highest rates of hypertension in the world, at 44%. Among hypertensive adults, ≈80% are aware of their condition, 71% are using antihypertensive medication, and only 48% of those aware that they have hypertension have their condition controlled.
Despite 4 decades of progress, in 2008, among Americans ≥18 years of age, 23.1% of men and 18.3% of women continued to be cigarette smokers. In 2009, 19.5% of students in grades 9 through 12 reported current tobacco use. The percentage of the nonsmoking population with detectable serum cotinine (indicating exposure to secondhand smoke) was 46.4% in 1999 to 2004, with declines occurring, and was highest for those 4 to 11 years of age (60.5%) and those 12 to 19 years of age (55.4%).
An estimated 33 600 000 adults ≥20 years of age have total serum cholesterol levels ≥240 mg/dL, with a prevalence of 15.0% (Table 13-1).
In 2008, an estimated 18 300 000 Americans had diagnosed diabetes mellitus, representing 8.0% of the adult population. An additional 7 100 000 had undiagnosed diabetes mellitus, and 36.8% had prediabetes, with abnormal fasting glucose levels. African Americans, Mexican Americans, Hispanic/Latino individuals, and other ethnic minorities bear a strikingly disproportionate burden of diabetes mellitus in the United States (Table 16-1).
The 2011 Update Expands Data Coverage of the Obesity Epidemic and Its Antecedents and Consequences
The estimated prevalence of overweight and obesity in US adults (≥20 years of age) is 149 300 000, which represents 67.3% of this group in 2008. Fully 33.7% of US adults are obese (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2). Men and women of all race/ethnic groups in the population are affected by the epidemic of overweight and obesity (Table 15-1).
Among children 2 to 19 years of age, 31.9% are overweight and obese (which represents 23 500 000 children), and 16.3% are obese (12 000 000 children). Mexican American boys and girls and African American girls are disproportionately affected. Over the past 3 decades, the prevalence of obesity in children 6 to 11 years of age has increased from ≈4% to more than 20%.
Obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2) is associated with marked excess mortality in the US population. Even more notable is the excess morbidity associated with overweight and obesity in terms of risk factor development and incidence of diabetes mellitus, CVD end points (including coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure), and numerous other health conditions, including asthma, cancer, degenerative joint disease, and many others.
The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is increasing dramatically over time, in parallel with the increases in prevalence of overweight and obesity.
On the basis of NHANES 2003–2006 data, the age-adjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of major cardiovascular risk factors related to overweight/obesity and insulin resistance, is 34% (35.1% among men and 32.6% among women).
The proportion of youth (≤18 years of age) who report engaging in no regular physical activity is high, and the proportion increases with age. In 2007, among adolescents in grades 9 through 12, 29.9% of girls and 17.0% of boys reported that they had not engaged in 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, defined as any activity that increased heart rate or breathing rate, even once in the previous 7 days, despite recommendations that children engage in such activity ≥5 days per week.
Thirty-six percent of adults reported engaging in no vigorous activity (activity that causes heavy sweating and a large increase in breathing or heart rate).
Data from NHANES indicate that between 1971 and 2004, average total energy consumption among US adults increased by 22% in women (from 1542 to 1886 kcal/d) and by 10% in men (from 2450 to 2693 kcal/d; see Chart 19-1).
The increases in calories consumed during this time period are attributable primarily to greater average carbohydrate intake, in particular, of starches, refined grains, and sugars. Other specific changes related to increased caloric intake in the United States include larger portion sizes, greater food quantity and calories per meal, and increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, snacks, commercially prepared (especially fast food) meals, and higher energy-density foods.
The 2011 Update Provides Critical Data Regarding Cardiovascular Quality of Care, Procedure Utilization, and Costs
In light of the current national focus on healthcare utilization, costs, and quality, it is critical to monitor and understand the magnitude of healthcare delivery and costs, as well as the quality of healthcare delivery, related to CVDs. The Update provides these critical data in several sections.
Quality-of-Care Metrics for CVDs
Chapter 20 reviews many metrics related to the quality of care delivered to patients with CVDs, as well as healthcare disparities. In particular, quality data are available from the AHA’s “Get With The Guidelines” programs for coronary artery disease and heart failure and the American Stroke Association/ AHA’s “Get With the Guidelines” program for acute stroke. Similar data from the Veterans Healthcare Administration, national Medicare and Medicaid data and National Cardiovascular Data Registry Acute Coronary Treatment and Intervention Outcomes Network - “Get With The Guidelines” Registry data are also reviewed. These data show impressive adherence with guideline recommendations for many, but not all, metrics of quality of care for these hospitalized patients. Data are also reviewed on screening for cardiovascular risk factor levels and control.
Cardiovascular Procedure Utilization and Costs
Chapter 21 provides data on trends and current usage of cardiovascular surgical and invasive procedures. For example, the total number of inpatient cardiovascular operations and procedures increased 27%, from 5 382 000 in 1997 to 6 846 000 in 2007 (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute computation based on National Center for Health Statistics annual data).
Chapter 22 reviews current estimates of direct and indirect healthcare costs related to CVDs, stroke, and related conditions using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data. The total direct and indirect cost of CVD and stroke in the United States for 2007 is estimated to be $286 billion. This figure includes health expenditures (direct costs, which include the cost of physicians and other professionals, hospital services, prescribed medications, home health care, and other medical durables) and lost productivity resulting from mortality (indirect costs). By comparison, in 2008, the estimated cost of all cancer and benign neoplasms was $228 billion ($93 billion in direct costs, $19 billion in morbidity indirect costs, and $116 billion in mortality indirect costs). CVD costs more than any other diagnostic group.
The AHA, through its Statistics Committee, continuously monitors and evaluates sources of data on heart disease and stroke in the United States to provide the most current data available in the Statistics Update. The 2007 mortality data have been released. More information can be found at the National Center for Health Statistics Web site,
Finally, it must be noted that this annual Statistical Update is the product of an entire year’s worth of effort by dedicated professionals, volunteer physicians and scientists, and outstanding AHA staff members, without whom publication of this valuable resource would be impossible. Their contributions are gratefully acknowledged. Véronique L. Roger, MD, MPH, FAHAMelanie B. Turner, MPHOn behalf of the American Heart Association Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Writing Group
Note: Population data used in the compilation of NHANES prevalence estimates is for the latest year of the NHANES survey being used. Extrapolations for NHANES prevalence estimates are based on the census resident population for 2008 because this is the most recent year of NHANES data used in the Statistical Update.
PMCID: PMC4418670  PMID: 21160056
AHA Statistical Update; cardiovascular diseases; epidemiology; risk factors; statistics; stroke
7.  The influence of sex on cardiovascular outcomes associated with diabetes among older black and white adults 
It is unknown whether sex differences in the association of diabetes with cardiovascular outcomes vary by race. We examined sex differences in the associations of diabetes with incident congestive heart failure (CHF) and coronary heart disease (CHD) between older black and white adults.
We analyzed data from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), a prospective cohort study of community-dwelling individuals aged ≥65 from four U.S. counties. We included 4817 participants (476 black women, 279 black men, 2447 white women and 1625 white men). We estimated event rates and multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios for incident CHF, CHD, and all-cause mortality by Cox regression and competing risk analyses.
Over a median follow-up of 12.5 years, diabetes was more strongly associated with CHF among black women (HR, 2.42 [95%CI, 1.70-3.40]) than black men (1.39 [0.83-2.34]); this finding did not reach statistical significance (P for interaction 0.08). Female sex conferred a higher risk for a composite outcome of CHF and CHD among black participants (2.44[1.82-3.26]) vs. (1.44[0.97-2.12]), P for interaction 0.03). There were no significant sex differences in the HRs associated with diabetes for CHF among whites, or for CHD or all-cause mortality among blacks or whites. The three-way interaction between sex, race, and diabetes on risk of cardiovascular outcomes was not significant (P = 0.07).
Overall, sex did not modify the cardiovascular risk associated with diabetes among older black or white adults. However, our results suggest that a possible sex interaction among older blacks merits further study.
PMCID: PMC4004690  PMID: 24461547
diabetes mellitus; sex-specific; ethnicity; African-American; epidemiology
8.  Social Relationships and Longitudinal Changes in Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2014;179(5):567-575.
Few studies have examined longitudinal associations between close social relationships and weight change. Using data from 3,074 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study who were examined in 2000, 2005, and 2010 (at ages 33–45 years in 2000), we estimated separate logistic regression random-effects models to assess whether patterns of exposure to supportive and negative relationships were associated with 10% or greater increases in body mass index (BMI) (weight (kg)/height (m)2) and waist circumference. Linear regression random-effects modeling was used to examine associations of social relationships with mean changes in BMI and waist circumference. Participants with persistently high supportive relationships were significantly less likely to increase their BMI values and waist circumference by 10% or greater compared with those with persistently low supportive relationships after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, baseline BMI/waist circumference, depressive symptoms, and health behaviors. Persistently high negative relationships were associated with higher likelihood of 10% or greater increases in waist circumference (odds ratio = 1.62, 95% confidence interval: 1.15, 2.29) and marginally higher BMI increases (odds ratio = 1.50, 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 2.24) compared with participants with persistently low negative relationships. Increasingly negative relationships were associated with increases in waist circumference only. These findings suggest that supportive relationships may minimize weight gain, and that adverse relationships may contribute to weight gain, particularly via central fat accumulation.
PMCID: PMC3927980  PMID: 24389018
body mass index; longitudinal study; social relationships; waist circumference
9.  Null Association between Abdominal Muscle and Calcified Atherosclerosis in Community-Living Persons Without Clinical Cardiovascular Disease: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Metabolism: clinical and experimental  2013;62(11):10.1016/j.metabol.2013.06.001.
Detrimental effects of lean muscle loss have been hypothesized to explain J-shaped relationships of body mass index (BMI) with cardiovascular disease (CVD), yet associations of muscle mass with CVD are largely unknown. We hypothesized that low abdominal lean muscle area would be associated with greater calcified atherosclerosis, independent of other CVD risk factors.
We investigated 1020 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis who were free of clinical CVD. Computed tomography (CT) scans at the 4th and 5th lumbar disk space were used to estimate abdominal lean muscle area. Chest and abdominal CT scans were used to assess coronary artery calcification(CAC), thoracic aortic calcification (TAC), and abdominal aortic calcification (AAC).
The mean age was 64±10 years, 48% were female, and mean BMI was 28±5 kg/m2. In models adjusted for demographics, physical activity, caloric intake, and traditional CVD risk factors, there was no inverse association of abdominal muscle mass with CAC(Prevalence Ratio [PR] 1.02 [95% CI 0.95,1.10]), TAC (PR 1.13 [95%CI 0.92, 1.39]) or AAC (PR 0.99 [95%CI 0.94, 1.04]) prevalence. Similarly, there was no significant inverse relationship between abdominal lean muscle area and CAC, TAC, and AAC severity.
In community-living individuals without clinical CVD, greater abdominal lean muscle area is not associated with less calcified atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3740763  PMID: 23916063
Cardiovascular Disease; atherosclerosis; lean muscle
10.  Quantifying the contributions of behavioral and biological risk factors to socioeconomic disparities in coronary heart disease incidence: The MORGEN study 
European journal of epidemiology  2013;28(10):10.1007/s10654-013-9847-2.
Quantifying the impact of different modifiable behavioral and biological risk factors on socioeconomic disparities in coronary heart disease (CHD) may help inform targeted, population-specific strategies to reduce the unequal distribution of the disease. Previous studies have used analytic approaches that limit our ability to disentangle the relative contributions of these risk factors to CHD disparities. The goal of this study was to assess mediation of the effect of low education on incident CHD by multiple risk factors simultaneously. Analyses are based on 15,067 participants of the Dutch Monitoring Project on Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases aged 20–65 years examined 1994–1997 and followed for events until January 1, 2008. Path analysis was used to quantify and test mediation of the low education-CHD association by behavioral (current cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol use, poor diet, and physical inactivity) and biological (obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia) risk factors. Behavioral and biological risk factors accounted for 56.6% (95% CI: 42.6%–70.8%) of the low education-incident CHD association. Smoking was the strongest mediator, accounting for 27.3% (95% CI: 17.7%–37.4%) of the association, followed by obesity (10.2%; 95% CI: 4.5%–16.1%), physical inactivity (6.3%; 95% CI: 2.7%–10.0%), and hypertension (5.3%; 95% CI: 2.8%–8.0%). In summary, in a Dutch cohort, the majority of the relationship between low education and incident CHD was mediated by traditional behavioral and biological risk factors. Addressing barriers to smoking cessation, blood pressure and weight management, and physical activity may be the most effective approaches to eliminating socioeconomic inequalities in CHD.
PMCID: PMC3844527  PMID: 24037117
socioeconomic status; coronary heart disease; health behaviors; risk factors
11.  Status of Cardiovascular Health in US Adults: Prevalence Estimates from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2003-2008 
Circulation  2011;125(1):45-56.
The American Heart Association's 2020 Strategic Impact Goals define a new concept, “cardiovascular (CV) health”; however, current prevalence estimates of the status of CV health in U.S. adults according to age, sex and race/ethnicity have not been published.
Methods and Results
We included 14,515 adults (≥20 years) from the 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Participants were stratified by young (20-39 years), middle (40-64 years), and older ages (65+ years). CV health behaviors (diet, physical activity, body mass index, smoking) and CV health factors (blood pressure, total cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, smoking) were defined as poor, intermediate, or ideal. Less than 1% of adults exhibited ideal CV health for all 7 metrics. For CV health behaviors, non-smoking was most prevalent (range:60.2-90.4%) while ideal Healthy Diet Score was least prevalent (range:0.2-2.6%) across groups. Prevalence of ideal BMI (range:36.5-45.3%) and ideal physical activity levels (range:50.2-58.8%) were higher in young adults compared to middle or older ages. Ideal total cholesterol (range:23.7-36.2%), blood pressure (range:11.9-16.3%) and fasting blood glucose (range:31.2-42.9%) were lower in older adults compared with young and middle age adults.Prevalence of poor CV health factors was lowest in young age but higher at middle and older ages. Prevalence estimates by age and sex were consistent across race/ethnic groups.
These prevalence estimates of CV health represent a starting point from which effectiveness of efforts to promote CV health and prevent CV disease can be monitored and compared in U.S. adult populations.
PMCID: PMC4077723  PMID: 22095826
Cardiovascular Diseases; Diet; Epidemiology; Obesity; Risk Factors
12.  Racial and Ethnic Residential Segregation, the Neighborhood Socioeconomic Environment, and Obesity Among Blacks and Mexican Americans 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;177(4):299-309.
We used cross-sectional data on 2,660 black and 2,611 Mexican-American adult participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999–2006) to investigate the association between metropolitan-level racial/ethnic residential segregation and obesity and to determine whether it was mediated by the neighborhood socioeconomic environment. Residential segregation was measured using the black and Hispanic isolation indices. Neighborhood poverty and negative income incongruity were assessed as mediators. Multilevel Poisson regression with robust variance estimates was used to estimate prevalence ratios. There was no relationship between segregation and obesity among men. Among black women, in age-, nativity-, and metropolitan demographic-adjusted models, high segregation was associated with a 1.29 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00, 1.65) times higher obesity prevalence than was low segregation; medium segregation was associated with a 1.35 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.70) times higher obesity prevalence. Mexican-American women living in high versus low segregation areas had a significantly lower obesity prevalence (prevalence ratio, 0.54; 95% CI: 0.33, 0.90), but there was no difference between those living in medium versus low segregation areas. These associations were not mediated by neighborhood poverty or negative income incongruity. These findings suggest variability in the interrelationships between residential segregation and obesity for black and Mexican-American women.
PMCID: PMC3566709  PMID: 23337312
health disparities; obesity; residential segregation; social environment
13.  Physical Activity, Change in Biomarkers of Myocardial Stress and Injury, and Subsequent Heart Failure Risk in Older Adults 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between physical activity and changes in levels of highly sensitive troponin T (cTnT) and N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and the subsequent risk of the development of heart failure (HF) in community-dwelling older adults.
Higher baseline levels of cTnT and NT-proBNP and increases over time correlate with the risk of HF in older adults. Factors modifying these levels have not been identified.
NT-proBNP and cTnT were measured at baseline and 2 to 3 years later in adults 65 years of age and older free of HF participating in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Self-reported physical activity and walking pace were combined into a composite score. An increase was prespecified for NT-proBNP as a >25% increment from baseline to ≥190 pg/ml and for cTnT as a >50% increment from baseline in participants with detectable levels (≥3 pg/ml).
A total of 2,933 participants free of HF had NT-proBNP and cTnT measured at both time points. The probability of an increase in biomarker concentrations between baseline and follow-up visits was inversely related to the physical activity score. Compared with participants with the lowest score, those with the highest score had an odds ratio of 0.50 (95% confidence interval: 0.33 to 0.77) for an increase in NT-proBNP and an odds ratio of 0.30 (95% confidence interval: 0.16 to 0.55) for an increase in cTnT, after adjusting for comorbidities and baseline levels. A higher activity score associated with a lower long-term incidence of HF. Moreover, at each level of activity, an increase in either biomarker still identified those at higher risk.
These findings suggest that moderate physical activity has protective effects on early heart failure phenotypes, preventing cardiac injury and neurohormonal activation.
PMCID: PMC3591516  PMID: 23158528
aging; exercise; heart failure; natriuretic peptides
14.  Correlates of heart rate recovery over 20 years in a population sample 
Medicine and science in sports and exercise  2012;44(2):10.1249/MSS.0b013e31822cb190.
Slow heart rate recovery (HRR) from a graded exercise treadmill test (GXT) is a marker of impaired parasympathetic reactivation that is associated with elevated mortality. Our objective was to test whether demographic, behavioral or coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors during young adulthood were associated with the development of slow HRR.
Participants from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study underwent symptom-limited maximal GXT using a modified Balke protocol at baseline (1985–86) and 20-year follow-up (2005–06) examinations. HRR was calculated as the difference between peak heart rate (HR) and HR two-minutes following cessation of the GXT. Slow HRR was defined as 2-minute HRR < 22 beats·min−1.
In 2,730 participants who did not have slow HRR at baseline, mean HRR was 44 beats*min−1 (SD = 11) at baseline and declined to 40 beats·min−1 (SD=12) in 2005–06; slow HRR developed in 5% (n=135) of the sample by 2005–06. Female sex, black race, fewer years of education, obesity, cigarette smoking, higher depressive symptoms, higher fasting glucose, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and physical inactivity and low fitness were each associated with incident slow HRR. In a multivariable model higher BMI, larger waist, low education, fasting glucose and current smoking remained significantly associated with incident slow HRR. Increasing BMI (per SD higher) over follow-up and incident hypertension, diabetes and metabolic syndrome (in the subsets of participants who were free from those conditions at baseline), were each associated with a significantly elevated odds of incident slow HRR.
On average, HRR declines with aging; however, the odds of having slow HRR in early middle age is significantly associated with traditional CHD risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3838873  PMID: 21796053
Epidemiology; Cardiovascular Disease; Exercise; Autonomic Nervous System
15.  Depressive Symptom Clusters and 5-Year Incidence of Coronary Artery Calcification: The CARDIA Study 
Circulation  2012;126(4):410-417.
Because depression is a multidimensional construct and few studies have compared the relative importance of its facets in predicting cardiovascular risk, we evaluated the utility of depressive symptom clusters in predicting the 5-year incidence of coronary artery calcification (CAC).
Methods and Results
Participants were 2,171 middle-aged adults (58% female, 43% black) from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study who were free of cardiovascular disease. Depressive symptom clusters (z scores) were measured by questionnaires in 2000–2001, and CAC was measured by electron beam computed tomography in 2000–2001 and 2005–2006. There were 243 (11%) cases of incident CAC, defined as the absence of CAC at baseline and the presence of CAC at follow-up. Total depressive symptoms (OR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.02–1.33, p = .03) and the depressed affect cluster (OR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.03–1.33, p = .02) predicted incident CAC; however, the somatic, interpersonal distress, low positive affect, and pessimism clusters did not. The depressed affect-incident CAC relationship was independent of age, sex, race, education, and antidepressant use; was similar across gender and racial groups; and was partially accounted for by tobacco use and mean arterial pressure.
In contrast to recent results indicating that the somatic cluster is the most predictive of cardiovascular outcomes, we found that the prospective association between depressive symptoms and incident CAC was driven by the depressed affect cluster. Our findings raise the possibility that there may not be one facet of depression that is the most cardiotoxic across all contexts.
PMCID: PMC3422690  PMID: 22711275
atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease risk factors; coronary artery calcification; depression; epidemiology
16.  Diurnal Salivary Cortisol and Urinary Catecholamines Are Associated With Diabetes Mellitus: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Metabolism  2011;61(7):986-995.
To examine the cross-sectional association of diurnal salivary cortisol curve components and urinary catecholamines with diabetes status.
Up to 18 salivary cortisol samples over 3 days and overnight urinary catecholamines were collected from 1,002 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Diabetes was defined as a fasting blood glucose ≥126 mg/dL or medication use. Cortisol curve measures included awakening cortisol, cortisol awakening response (CAR), early decline, late decline, and cortisol area under the curve (AUC). Urinary catecholamines included epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
Participants with diabetes had significantly lower CAR (β=−0.19; 95% CI: −0.34 to −0.04) than those without diabetes in multivariable models. While men with diabetes had a non-significant trend toward lower total AUC (β=−1.56; 95% CI: −3.93 to 0.80), women with diabetes had significantly higher total AUC (β=2.62; 95% CI: 0.72 to 4.51) (p=0.02 for interaction) compared to those without diabetes. Men but not women with diabetes had significantly lower urinary catecholamines, compared to those without diabetes (p<0.05).
Diabetes is associated with neuroendocrine dysregulation, which may differ by sex. Further studies are needed to determine the role of the neuroendocrine system in the pathophysiology of diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3319636  PMID: 22209664
diabetes; hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; salivary cortisol; catecholamines; epidemiology
17.  Diurnal Salivary Cortisol is Associated With Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2013;21(1):E56-E63.
Neuroendocrine abnormalities, such as activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, are associated with obesity; however, few large-scale population-based studies have examined HPA axis and markers of obesity. We examined the cross-sectional association of the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and diurnal salivary cortisol curve with obesity. The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Stress Study includes 1,002 White, Hispanic, and Black men and women (mean age 65±9.8 years) who collected up to 18 salivary cortisol samples over 3 days. Cortisol profiles were modeled using regression spline models that incorporated random parameters for subject-specific effects. Cortisol curve measures included awakening cortisol, CAR (awakening to 30 minutes post-awakening), early decline (30 minutes to 2 hours post-awakening), late decline (2 hours post-awakening to bedtime), and the corresponding areas under the curve (AUC). Body-mass-index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were used to estimate adiposity. For the entire cohort, both BMI and WC were negatively correlated with awakening cortisol (p<0.05), AUC during awakening rise and early decline and positively correlated to the early decline slope (p<0.05) after adjustments for age, race/ethnicity, gender, diabetes status, socioeconomic status, beta blockers, steroids, hormone replacement therapy and smoking status. No heterogeneities of effects were observed by gender, age, and race/ethnicity. Higher BMI and WC are associated with neuroendocrine dysregulation, which is present in a large population sample, and only partially explained by other covariates.
PMCID: PMC3602310  PMID: 23404865
adiposity; hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; salivary cortisol; diurnal cortisol; cortisol awakening response; epidemiology; obesity; body mass index; waist circumference; epidemiology
18.  Fasting and Post-Glucose Load Measures of Insulin Resistance and Risk of Ischemic Stroke in Older Adults 
Background and purpose
Few studies have assessed post-glucose load measures of insulin resistance and ischemic stroke risk, and data are sparse for older adults. We investigated whether fasting and post-glucose load measures of insulin resistance were related to incident ischemic stroke in non-diabetic older adults.
Participants were men and women in the Cardiovascular Health Study, aged 65+ and without prevalent diabetes or stroke at baseline, followed for 17 years for incident ischemic stroke. The Gutt insulin sensitivity index was calculated from baseline body weight and fasting and 2-hour post-load insulin and glucose; a lower Gutt index indicates higher insulin resistance.
Analyses included 3,442 participants (42% men) with a mean age of 73. Incidence of ischemic stroke was 9.8 strokes per 1,000 person years. The relative risk (RR) for lowest quartile vs. highest quartile of Gutt index was 1.64 (95% confidence interval: 1.24, 2.16), adjusted for demographics and prevalent cardiovascular and kidney disease. Similarly, the adjusted RR for highest quartile vs. lowest quartile of 2-hour glucose was 1.84 (95% CI: 1.39, 2.42). In contrast, the adjusted RR for highest quartile vs. lowest quartile of fasting insulin was 1.10 (95% CI: 0.84, 1.46).
In non-diabetic older adults, insulin resistance measured by Gutt index or 2-hour glucose, but not fasting insulin, was associated with risk of incident ischemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC3226936  PMID: 21998054
Non-diabetic older adults; Cohort study; Gutt insulin sensitivity index
19.  Association of Weight Status with Mortality in Adults with Incident Diabetes 
Type 2 diabetes in normal weight (body mass index [BMI] <25kg/m2) adults is an intriguing representation of the metabolically obese normal weight phenotype with unknown mortality consequences.
To minimize the influence of diabetes duration and voluntary weight loss on mortality, we tested the association of weight status with mortality in adults with new onset diabetes.
Pooled analysis of five longitudinal cohort studies: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, 1990–2006; Cardiovascular Health Study, 1992–2008; Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults, 1987–2011; Framingham Offspring Study, 1979–2007; Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, 2002–2011. Participants contributed 27,125 person-years of follow-up.
2,625 participants with incident diabetes
Men and women (age>40 years) who developed incident diabetes based on fasting glucose ≥ 126 mg/dL or newly-initiated diabetes medication and who had concurrent measurements of body mass index (BMI). Participants were classified as normal weight if their BMI was 18.5 to 24.99kg/m2 or overweight/obese if BMI≥25 kg/m2.
Main Outcome Measures
Total, cardiovascular, and non-cardiovascular mortality
The proportion of adults who were normal weight at the time of incident diabetes ranged from 9–21% (overall=12%). Over follow-up, 449 participants died, 178 from cardiovascular causes and 253 from non-cardiovascular causes (18 were not classified). The rate of total, cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular mortality was higher in normal weight participants (248.8, 99.8, and 198.1 per 10,000 person-years, respectively) than overweight/obese participants (152.1, 67.8, and 87.9 per 10,000 person-years, respectively). Following adjustment for demographic characteristics and blood pressure, lipids, waist circumference and smoking status, hazard ratios comparing normal weight participants to overweight/obese participants for total, cardiovascular, and non-cardiovascular mortality were 2.08 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.52, 2.85), 1.52 (95% CI: 0.89, 2.58) and 2.32 (95% CI: 1.55, 3.48), respectively.
Adults who are normal weight at the time of incident diabetes have higher mortality than adults who are overweight or obese.
PMCID: PMC3467944  PMID: 22871870
type 2 diabetes; obesity; cardiovascular disease; longitudinal studies
20.  Lower Extremity Fat Mass Is Associated With Insulin Resistance in Overweight and Obese Individuals: The CARDIA Study 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2011;19(11):2248-2253.
Lower extremity fat mass (LEFM) has been shown to be favorably associated with glucose metabolism. However, it is not clear whether this relationship is similar across varying levels of obesity. We hypothesized that lower amounts of LEFM is associated with higher insulin resistance (IR) and this association may vary according to weight status. Participants with available measures were examined from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study (CARDIA), a multi-center longitudinal study of the etiology of atherosclerosis in black and white men and women aged 38–50 years old in 2005–2006 (n = 1,579). The homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMAIR) was calculated to estimate IR, regional adiposity was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and weight status was defined according to BMI categories. Obese and overweight participants exhibited higher IR, total fat mass (FM), trunk FM (TFM), and LEFM compared to normal weight participants. After controlling for age, height, race, study center, education, smoking, and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), greater LEFM was significantly associated with higher IR only in normal weight men and women. Further adjustment for TFM revealed that lower LEFM was significantly associated with higher IR in overweight and obese men and women and the positive association in normal weight individuals was attenuated. These results suggest that excess adiposity in the lower extremities may attenuate the metabolic risk observed at a given level of abdominal adiposity in overweight and obese individuals. Weight status presents additional complexity since the metabolic influence of adipose tissue may not be homogenous across anatomic regions or level of obesity.
PMCID: PMC3203327  PMID: 21617639
21.  Longitudinal Examination of Age-Predicted Symptom-Limited Exercise Maximum Heart Rate 
To estimate the association of age with maximal heart rate (MHR).
Data were obtained in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Participants were black and white men and women aged 18-30 in 1985-86 (year 0). A symptom-limited maximal graded exercise test was completed at years 0, 7, and 20 by 4969, 2583, and 2870 participants, respectively. After exclusion 9622 eligible tests remained.
In all 9622 tests, estimated MHR (eMHR, beats/minute) had a quadratic relation to age in the age range 18 to 50 years, eMHR=179+0.29*age-0.011*age2. The age-MHR association was approximately linear in the restricted age ranges of consecutive tests. In 2215 people who completed both year 0 and 7 tests (age range 18 to 37), eMHR=189–0.35*age; and in 1574 people who completed both year 7 and 20 tests (age range 25 to 50), eMHR=199–0.63*age. In the lowest baseline BMI quartile, the rate of decline was 0.20 beats/minute/year between years 0-7 and 0.51 beats/minute/year between years 7-20; while in the highest baseline BMI quartile there was a linear rate of decline of approximately 0.7 beats/minute/year over the full age of 18 to 50 years.
Clinicians making exercise prescriptions should be aware that the loss of symptom-limited MHR is much slower at young adulthood and more pronounced in later adulthood. In particular, MHR loss is very slow in those with lowest BMI below age 40.
PMCID: PMC2891874  PMID: 20639723
prediction equations; graded exercise test; mixed models; epidemiologic study
22.  Parity and the Association With Diabetes in Older Women 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(8):1778-1782.
To examine the relationship of parity with diabetes and markers of glucose homeostasis in older women.
We used data from the female participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study, a longitudinal cohort of adults aged ≥65 years. These data included an assessment of parity (baseline) and fasting serum levels of glucose, insulin, and medication use (baseline and follow-up). We estimated both the cross-sectional relationship of parity with baseline diabetes and the relationship of parity with incident diabetes.
In unadjusted analyses, women with grand multiparity (≥5 live births) had a higher prevalence of diabetes at baseline compared with those with fewer births and with nulliparous women (25 vs. 12 vs. 15%; P < 0.001). In regression models controlling for age and race, grand multiparity was associated with increased prevalence of diabetes (prevalence ratio 1.57 [95% CI 1.20–2.06]); with addition of demographic and clinical factors to the model, the association was attenuated (1.33 [1.00–1.77]). In final models that included body anthropometrics, the association was no longer significant (1.21 [0.86–1.49]). In those without diabetes at baseline, parity was not associated with incident diabetes or with fasting glucose; however, there was a modest association of parity with fasting insulin and homeostasis assessment model of insulin resistance.
Grand multiparity is associated with diabetes in elderly women in cross-sectional analyses. This relationship seems to be confounded and/or mediated by variation in body weight and sociodemographic factors by parity status. In older nondiabetic women, higher parity does not pose an ongoing risk of developing diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2909061  PMID: 20424225
23.  The Metabolic Syndrome 
Archives of internal medicine  2003;163(4):427-436.
The metabolic syndrome is an important cluster of coronary heart disease risk factors with common insulin resistance. The extent to which the metabolic syndrome is associated with demographic and potentially modifiable lifestyle factors in the US population is unknown.
Metabolic syndrome–associated factors and prevalence, as defined by Adult Treatment Panel III criteria, were evaluated in a representative US sample of 3305 black, 3477 Mexican American, and 5581 white men and nonpregnant or lactating women aged 20 years and older who participated in the cross-sectional Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The metabolic syndrome was present in 22.8% and 22.6% of US men and women, respectively (P=.86). The age-specific prevalence was highest in Mexican Americans and lowest in blacks of both sexes. Ethnic differences persisted even after adjusting for age, body mass index, and socioeconomic status. The metabolic syndrome was present in 4.6%, 22.4%, and 59.6% of normal-weight, overweight, and obese men, respectively, and a similar distribution was observed in women. Older age, postmenopausal status, Mexican American ethnicity, higher body mass index, current smoking, low household income, high carbohydrate intake, no alcohol consumption, and physical inactivity were associated with increased odds of the metabolic syndrome.
The metabolic syndrome is present in more than 20% of the US adult population; varies substantially by ethnicity even after adjusting for body mass index, age, socioeconomic status, and other predictor variables; and is associated with several potentially modifiable lifestyle factors. Identification and clinical management of this high-risk group is an important aspect of coronary heart disease prevention.
PMCID: PMC3146257  PMID: 12588201
24.  Diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease as Risk Factors for Mortality in Older Adults 
The American journal of medicine  2010;123(6):556.e1-556.e9.
Type 2 diabetes has been described a coronary heart disease (CHD) “risk equivalent”. We tested whether cardiovascular and all-cause mortality rates were similar between participants with prevalent CHD versus diabetes in an older adult population in whom both glucose disorders and pre-existing atherosclerosis are common.
The Cardiovascular Health Study is a longitudinal study of men and women (n= 5784) aged ≥65 years at baseline who were followed from baseline (1989/92-93) through 2005 for mortality. Diabetes was defined by fasting plasma glucose ≥7.0 mmol/L or use of diabetes control medications. Prevalent CHD was determined by confirmed history of myocardial infarction (MI), angina, or coronary revascularization.
Following multivariable adjustment for other cardiovascular disease risk factors and subclinical atherosclerosis, CHD mortality risk was similar between participants with CHD alone vs. diabetes alone (hazard ratio [HR]=1.04, 95% CI, 0.83-1.30). The proportion of mortality attributable to prevalent diabetes (Population Attributable Risk Percent =8.4%) and prevalent CHD (6.7%) was similar in women, but the proportion of mortality attributable to CHD (16.5%) as compared with diabetes (6.4%) was markedly higher in men. Patterns were similar for cardiovascular disease mortality. By contrast, the adjusted relative hazard of total mortality was lower among participants with CHD alone (HR =0.85, 95% CI, 0.75-0.96) as compared with those who had diabetes alone.
Among older adults, diabetes alone confers a similar risk for cardiovascular mortality as established clinical CHD. The public health burden of both diabetes and CHD is substantial, particularly among women.
PMCID: PMC3145803  PMID: 20569763
type 2 diabetes; cardiovascular disease; longitudinal studies; older adults
25.  Serum Insulin, Obesity, and the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in Black and White Adults 
Diabetes care  2002;25(8):1358-1364.
In this study, we tested the hypothesis that fasting serum insulin is higher in nonobese black adults than in white adults and that high fasting insulin predicts type 2 diabetes equally well in both groups.
At the baseline examination (1987–1989) of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, fasting insulin and BMI were measured in 13,416 black and white men and women without diabetes. Participants were examined at years 3, 6, and 9 for incident diabetes based on fasting glucose and American Diabetes Association criteria.
Fasting insulin was 19.7 pmol/l higher among nonobese (BMI <30 kg/m2) black women compared with white women (race and obesity interaction term, P < 0.01). There were no differences among men. Among nonobese women, the relative risk for developing diabetes was similar between racial groups: 1.4 (95% CI 1.2–1.5) and 1.3 (1.2–1.4) per 60 pmol/l increase in insulin (P < 0.01) for black and white women, respectively (interaction term, P = 0.6). Findings were similar among men. Adjusting for established risk factors did not attenuate this association.
Nonobese black women have higher fasting insulin levels than nonobese white women, and fasting insulin is an equally strong predictor of diabetes in both groups. These results suggest one mechanism to explain the excess incidence of diabetes in nonobese black women but do not explain the excess among black men. Future research should evaluate additional factors: genetic, environmental, or the combination of both, which might explain higher fasting insulin among black women when compared with white women.
PMCID: PMC3132185  PMID: 12145235

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