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1.  Mediation of Cardiovascular Risk Factor Effects Through Subclinical Vascular Disease: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Objective
It is unclear to what extent subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) such as coronary artery calcium (CAC), carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and brachial flow mediated dilation (FMD) are mediators of the known associations between traditional cardiovascular risk factors and incident CVD events. We assessed the portion of the effects of risk factors on incident CVD events that are mediated through CAC, CIMT and FMD.
Approach and Results
6355 out of 6814 MESA participants were included. Nonlinear implementation of structural equation modeling (STATA mediation package) were used to assess whether CAC, CIMT or FMD are mediators of the association between traditional risk factors and incident CVD event.
Mean age of 62, with 47% males, 12% diabetics and 13% current smokers. Mean follow up of 7.5 years, 539 CVD events were adjudicated. CAC showed the highest mediation while FMD showed the least. Age had the highest percent of total effect mediated via CAC for CVD outcomes while current cigarette smoking had the least percent of total effect mediated via CAC [percent (95%CI: 80.2(58.8, 126.7) % vs. 10.6(6.1, 38.5) % respectively). BMI showed the highest percent of total effect mediated via CIMT [17.7(11.6, 38.9) %], only a negligible amount of the association between traditional risk factors and CVD was mediated via FMD.
Conclusion
Many of the risk factors for incident CVD (other than age, sex and BMI) showed a modest level of mediation via CAC, CIMT and FMD suggesting that current subclinical CVD markers may not be optimal intermediaries for gauging upstream risk factor modification
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.114.303753
PMCID: PMC4329880  PMID: 24876350
2.  The HEART Pathway Randomized Trial 
Background
The HEART Pathway is a decision aid designed to identify emergency department patients with acute chest pain for early discharge. No randomized trials have compared the HEART Pathway with usual care.
Methods and Results
Adult emergency department patients with symptoms related to acute coronary syndrome without ST-elevation on ECG (n=282) were randomized to the HEART Pathway or usual care. In the HEART Pathway arm, emergency department providers used the HEART score, a validated decision aid, and troponin measures at 0 and 3 hours to identify patients for early discharge. Usual care was based on American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines. The primary outcome, objective cardiac testing (stress testing or angiography), and secondary outcomes, index length of stay, early discharge, and major adverse cardiac events (death, myocardial infarction, or coronary revascularization), were assessed at 30 days by phone interview and record review. Participants had a mean age of 53 years, 16% had previous myocardial infarction, and 6% (95% confidence interval, 3.6%–9.5%) had major adverse cardiac events within 30 days of randomization. Compared with usual care, use of the HEART Pathway decreased objective cardiac testing at 30 days by 12.1% (68.8% versus 56.7%; P=0.048) and length of stay by 12 hours (9.9 versus 21.9 hours; P=0.013) and increased early discharges by 21.3% (39.7% versus 18.4%; P<0.001). No patients identified for early discharge had major adverse cardiac events within 30 days.
Conclusions
The HEART Pathway reduces objective cardiac testing during 30 days, shortens length of stay, and increases early discharges. These important efficiency gains occurred without any patients identified for early discharge suffering MACE at 30 days.
doi:10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.114.001384
PMCID: PMC4413911  PMID: 25737484
acute coronary syndrome; chest pain; clinical trial; decision support techniques
3.  Relationship of Change in Traditional Cardiometabolic Risk Factors to Change in Coronary Artery Calcification Among Individuals with Detectable Subclinical Atherosclerosis: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Background/Objectives
Data describing relationships between change in risk factors and coronary artery calcification (CAC) are lacking and could inform optimal cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment strategies. This study aimed to examine how change in traditional cardiometabolic risk factors related to change in CAC among individuals with detectable subclinical atherosclerosis.
Methods
Latent growth modeling was used to examine change in cardiometabolic risk factors (waist circumference, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose) related to change in CAC up to an average 4.9-year follow-up in a multi-ethnic cohort of 3,398 asymptomatic individuals (57.8% men) who had detectable CAC (score > 0) at baseline, adjusting for baseline risk factor levels and CAC values, age, gender, race/ethnicity, smoking, family history of CVD, income, and use of antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, and glucose-lowering medications.
Results
Greater declines in blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol at follow-up were each associated with greater CAC progression. The observed inverse associations were attributable to greater CAC progression in participants taking antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs who, as expected, had declines in blood pressure and lipid levels, respectively. These inverse associations did not emerge in participants not taking these medications.
Conclusions
Among individuals with subclinical atherosclerosis, the unexpected inverse associations observed between change in blood pressure and lipid levels with CAC progression emphasize the importance of considering medication use, and, when feasible, the severity and duration of disease, in exploring associations between risk factors and CAC change.
doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.03.137
PMCID: PMC4060615  PMID: 24698232
risk factors; coronary artery calcification; atherosclerosis
4.  Markers of Inflammation and Coagulation after Long-Term Exposure to Coarse Particulate Matter: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2015;123(6):541-548.
Background
Toxicological research suggests that coarse particles (PM10–2.5) are inflammatory, but responses are complex and may be best summarized by multiple inflammatory markers. Few human studies have investigated associations with PM10–2.5 and, of those, none have explored long-term exposures. Here we examine long-term associations with inflammation and coagulation in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
Methods
Participants included 3,295 adults (45–84 years of age) from three metropolitan areas. Site-specific spatial models were used to estimate 5-year concentrations of PM10–2.5 mass and copper, zinc, phosphorus, silicon, and endotoxin found in PM10–2.5. Outcomes included interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, total homocysteine, D-dimer, factor VIII, plasmin–antiplasmin complex, and inflammation and coagulation scores. We used multivariable regression with multiply imputed data to estimate associations while controlling for potential confounders, including co-pollutants such as fine particulate matter.
Results
Some limited evidence was found of relationships between inflammation and coagulation and PM10–2.5. Endotoxin was the PM10–2.5 component most strongly associated with inflammation, with an interquartile range (IQR) increase (0.08 EU/m3) associated with 0.15 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.28; p = 0.03) and 0.08 (95% CI: –0.07, 0.23; p = 0.28) higher inflammation scores before and after control for city, respectively. Copper was the component with the strongest association with coagulation, with a 4-ng/m3 increase associated with 0.19 (95% CI: 0.08, 0.30; p = 0.0008) and 0.12 (95% CI: –0.05, 0.30; p = 0.16) unit higher coagulation scores before and after city adjustment, respectively.
Conclusions
Our cross-sectional analysis provided some evidence that long-term PM10–2.5 exposure was associated with inflammation and coagulation, but associations were modest and depended on particle composition.
Citation
Adar SD, D’Souza J, Mendelsohn-Victor K, Jacobs DR Jr, Cushman M, Sheppard L, Thorne PS, Burke GL, Daviglus ML, Szpiro AA, Diez Roux AV, Kaufman JD, Larson TV. 2015. Markers of inflammation and coagulation after long-term exposure to coarse particulate matter: a cross-sectional analysis from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Environ Health Perspect 123:541–548; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1308069
doi:10.1289/ehp.1308069
PMCID: PMC4455582  PMID: 25616153
5.  Age-related variations in the methylome associated with gene expression in human monocytes and T cells 
Nature communications  2014;5:5366.
Age-related variations in DNA methylation have been reported; however, the functional relevance of these differentially methylated sites (age-dMS) are unclear. Here we report potentially functional age-dMS, defined as age- and cis-gene expression-associated methylation sites (age-eMS), identified by integrating genome-wide CpG methylation and gene expression profiles collected ex vivo from circulating T cells (227 CD4+ samples) and monocytes (1,264 CD14+ samples, age range: 55–94 years). None of the age-eMS detected in 227 T cell samples are detectable in 1,264 monocyte samples, in contrast to the majority of age-dMS detected in T cells that replicated in monocytes. Age-eMS tend to be hypomethylated with older age, located in predicted enhancers, and preferentially linked to expression of antigen processing and presentation genes. These results identify and characterize potentially functional age-related methylation in human T cells and monocytes, and provide novel insights into the role age-dMS may play in the aging process.
doi:10.1038/ncomms6366
PMCID: PMC4280798  PMID: 25404168
6.  Physical Activity, Measures of Obesity, and Cardiometabolic Risk: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Background
The influence of higher physical activity on the relationship between adiposity and cardiometabolic risk is not completely understood.
Methods
Between 2000–2002, data were collected on 6795 Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) participants. Self-reported intentional physical activity in the lowest quartile (0–105 MET-minutes/week) was categorized as inactive and the upper three quartiles (123–37,260 MET-minutes/week) as active. Associations of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference categories, stratified by physical activity status (inactive or active) with cardiometabolic risk factors (dyslipidemia, hypertension, upper quartile of homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance [HOMA-IR] for population, and impaired fasting glucose or diabetes) were assessed using logistic regression analysis adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and current smoking.
Results
Among obese participants, those who were physically active had reduced odds of insulin resistance (47% lower; P < .001) and impaired fasting glucose/diabetes (23% lower; P = .04). These associations were weaker for central obesity. However, among participants with a normal waist circumference, those who were inactive were 63% more likely to have insulin resistance (OR [95% CI] 1.63 [1.24–2.15]) compared with the active reference group.
Conclusions
Physical activity was inversely related to the cardiometabolic risk associated with obesity and central obesity.
doi:10.1123/jpah.2012-0326
PMCID: PMC4418627  PMID: 23676525
cardiovascular disease; diabetes; ethnicity; obesity
7.  Gene-centric meta-analyses for central adiposity traits in up to 57 412 individuals of European descent confirm known loci and reveal several novel associations 
Yoneyama, Sachiko | Guo, Yiran | Lanktree, Matthew B. | Barnes, Michael R. | Elbers, Clara C. | Karczewski, Konrad J | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Bauer, Florianne | Baumert, Jens | Beitelshees, Amber | Berenson, Gerald S. | Boer, Jolanda M.A. | Burke, Gregory | Cade, Brian | Chen, Wei | Cooper-Dehoff, Rhonda M. | Gaunt, Tom R. | Gieger, Christian | Gong, Yan | Gorski, Mathias | Heard-Costa, Nancy | Johnson, Toby | Lamonte, Michael J. | Mcdonough, Caitrin | Monda, Keri L. | Onland-Moret, N. Charlotte | Nelson, Christopher P. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Ordovas, Jose | Peter, Inga | Peters, Annette | Shaffer, Jonathan | Shen, Haiqinq | Smith, Erin | Speilotes, Liz | Thomas, Fridtjof | Thorand, Barbara | Monique Verschuren, W. M. | Anand, Sonia S. | Dominiczak, Anna | Davidson, Karina W. | Hegele, Robert A. | Heid, Iris | Hofker, Marten H. | Huggins, Gordon S. | Illig, Thomas | Johnson, Julie A. | Kirkland, Susan | König, Wolfgang | Langaee, Taimour Y. | Mccaffery, Jeanne | Melander, Olle | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Munroe, Patricia | Murray, Sarah S. | Papanicolaou, George | Redline, Susan | Reilly, Muredach | Samani, Nilesh J. | Schork, Nicholas J. | Van Der Schouw, Yvonne T. | Shimbo, Daichi | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Tobin, Martin D. | Wijmenga, Cisca | Yusuf, Salim | Hakonarson, Hakon | Lange, Leslie A. | Demerath, Ellen W | Fox, Caroline S. | North, Kari E | Reiner, Alex P. | Keating, Brendan | Taylor, Kira C.
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;23(9):2498-2510.
Waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) are surrogate measures of central adiposity that are associated with adverse cardiovascular events, type 2 diabetes and cancer independent of body mass index (BMI). WC and WHR are highly heritable with multiple susceptibility loci identified to date. We assessed the association between SNPs and BMI-adjusted WC and WHR and unadjusted WC in up to 57 412 individuals of European descent from 22 cohorts collaborating with the NHLBI's Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) project. The study population consisted of women and men aged 20–80 years. Study participants were genotyped using the ITMAT/Broad/CARE array, which includes ∼50 000 cosmopolitan tagged SNPs across ∼2100 cardiovascular-related genes. Each trait was modeled as a function of age, study site and principal components to control for population stratification, and we conducted a fixed-effects meta-analysis. No new loci for WC were observed. For WHR analyses, three novel loci were significantly associated (P < 2.4 × 10−6). Previously unreported rs2811337-G near TMCC1 was associated with increased WHR (β ± SE, 0.048 ± 0.008, P = 7.7 × 10−9) as was rs7302703-G in HOXC10 (β = 0.044 ± 0.008, P = 2.9 × 10−7) and rs936108-C in PEMT (β = 0.035 ± 0.007, P = 1.9 × 10−6). Sex-stratified analyses revealed two additional novel signals among females only, rs12076073-A in SHC1 (β = 0.10 ± 0.02, P = 1.9 × 10−6) and rs1037575-A in ATBDB4 (β = 0.046 ± 0.01, P = 2.2 × 10−6), supporting an already established sexual dimorphism of central adiposity-related genetic variants. Functional analysis using ENCODE and eQTL databases revealed that several of these loci are in regulatory regions or regions with differential expression in adipose tissue.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt626
PMCID: PMC3988452  PMID: 24345515
8.  Transcriptomic profiles of aging in purified human immune cells 
BMC Genomics  2015;16(1):333.
Background
Transcriptomic studies hold great potential towards understanding the human aging process. Previous transcriptomic studies have identified many genes with age-associated expression levels; however, small samples sizes and mixed cell types often make these results difficult to interpret.
Results
Using transcriptomic profiles in CD14+ monocytes from 1,264 participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (aged 55–94 years), we identified 2,704 genes differentially expressed with chronological age (false discovery rate, FDR ≤ 0.001). We further identified six networks of co-expressed genes that included prominent genes from three pathways: protein synthesis (particularly mitochondrial ribosomal genes), oxidative phosphorylation, and autophagy, with expression patterns suggesting these pathways decline with age. Expression of several chromatin remodeler and transcriptional modifier genes strongly correlated with expression of oxidative phosphorylation and ribosomal protein synthesis genes. 17% of genes with age-associated expression harbored CpG sites whose degree of methylation significantly mediated the relationship between age and gene expression (p < 0.05). Lastly, 15 genes with age-associated expression were also associated (FDR ≤ 0.01) with pulse pressure independent of chronological age.
Comparing transcriptomic profiles of CD14+ monocytes to CD4+ T cells from a subset (n = 423) of the population, we identified 30 age-associated (FDR < 0.01) genes in common, while larger sets of differentially expressed genes were unique to either T cells (188 genes) or monocytes (383 genes). At the pathway level, a decline in ribosomal protein synthesis machinery gene expression with age was detectable in both cell types.
Conclusions
An overall decline in expression of ribosomal protein synthesis genes with age was detected in CD14+ monocytes and CD4+ T cells, demonstrating that some patterns of aging are likely shared between different cell types. Our findings also support cell-specific effects of age on gene expression, illustrating the importance of using purified cell samples for future transcriptomic studies. Longitudinal work is required to establish the relationship between identified age-associated genes/pathways and aging-related diseases.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1522-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1522-4
PMCID: PMC4417516  PMID: 25898983
Aging; Monocyte; T cell; Transcriptome; Mitochondrial ribosome; Translation; Protein synthesis; Ribonucleoprotein complex; Oxidative phosphorylation; Autophagy; Methylation
9.  Methylomics of gene expression in human monocytes 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(24):5065-5074.
DNA methylation is one of several epigenetic mechanisms that contribute to the regulation of gene expression; however, the extent to which methylation of CpG dinucleotides correlates with gene expression at the genome-wide level is still largely unknown. Using purified primary monocytes from subjects in a large community-based cohort (n = 1264), we characterized methylation (>485 000 CpG sites) and mRNA expression (>48K transcripts) and carried out genome-wide association analyses of 8370 expression phenotypes. We identified 11 203 potential cis-acting CpG loci whose degree of methylation was associated with gene expression (eMS) at a false discovery rate threshold of 0.001. Most of the associations were consistent in effect size and direction of effect across sex and three ethnicities. Contrary to expectation, these eMS were not predominately enriched in promoter regions, or CpG islands, but rather in the 3′ UTR, gene bodies, CpG shores or ‘offshore’ sites, and both positive and negative correlations between methylation and expression were observed across all locations. eMS were enriched for regions predicted to be regulatory by ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) data in multiple cell types, particularly enhancers. One of the strongest association signals detected (P < 2.2 × 10−308) was a methylation probe (cg17005068) in the promoter/enhancer region of the glutathione S-transferase theta 1 gene (GSTT1, encoding the detoxification enzyme) with GSTT1 mRNA expression. Our study provides a detailed description of the epigenetic architecture in human monocytes and its relationship to gene expression. These data may help prioritize interrogation of biologically relevant methylation loci and provide new insights into the epigenetic basis of human health and diseases.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt356
PMCID: PMC3836482  PMID: 23900078
10.  Reference ranges of PR duration and P-wave indices in individuals free of cardiovascular disease: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Journal of electrocardiology  2013;46(6):10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2013.05.006.
In this brief report, we provide normal reference ranges for PR duration [unadjusted and heart rate adjusted] and P-wave indices [duration, amplitude and terminal force in V1] in individuals free of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. We used automatically processed digital ECG data from 1252 US participants [mean age 59 (± 10) years, 738 women, 588 whites, 207 African-Americans, 217 Hispanics, 240 Chinese] from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis [MESA]. In multivariable adjusted linear regression models with PR and each P-wave variable as a separate outcome, significant age, sex and race differences in these markers were observed. Subsequently, we report reference ranges for abnormal [2nd and 98th percentiles], borderline abnormal [5th and 95th percentiles] and mean [SD] values of PR and P-wave indices stratified by age [middle age (45–64 years) and seniors (65–84 years)], sex [men and women] and race [whites, African Americans, Hispanics and Chinese].
doi:10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2013.05.006
PMCID: PMC3795794  PMID: 23806475
P-wave indices; PR interval; MESA
11.  Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes by Place of Birth in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Incidence of diabetes among US foreign-born individuals is not well studied. Data were from the Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to examine diabetes risk by race/ethnicity, place of birth, and duration of residence among foreign-born. Foreign-born Latinos had a higher risk of incident diabetes compared to US-born Latinos (hazard ratio (HR) 1.79 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.00–3.21]). Latinos born in Mexico (HR, 2.26 [95 % CI, 1.18–4.33]) had higher risk of incident diabetes compared to US-born Latinos. Foreign-born living in the US ≥20 years had a higher adjusted risk of incident diabetes compared to those in the US for <20 years (HR, 1.60 [95 % CI, 1.05–2.55]). Incident diabetes may be higher among foreign-born compared to native born; incident diabetes may also be higher among those immigrants who have lived in the US for longer periods of time. Future studies should characterize individuals by race/ethnicity and place of birth to account for differences in biology and time spent in the US.
doi:10.1007/s10903-012-9683-6
PMCID: PMC4039384  PMID: 22833256
Immigrant; Foreign-born; Diabetes incidence; Latino; Chinese
12.  Intakes of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and fish in relation to measurements of subclinical atherosclerosis 
Background
Data on the relations of different types of fish meals and long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) with measures of atherosclerosis are sparse.
Objective
We examined intakes of long-chain n-3 PUFAs and fish in relation to clinical measures of subclinical atherosclerosis.
Design
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 5,488 multiethnic adults aged 45–84 years and free of clinical cardiovascular disease. Diet was assessed using self-administered food frequency questionnaires. Subclinical atherosclerosis was determined by common carotid intima-media thickness (cCIMT, >80th percentile), internal CIMT (iCIMT, >80th percentile), coronary artery calcium score (CAC, >0) or ankle-brachial index (ABI, <0.90), respectively.
Results
After adjustment for potential confounders, intakes of long-chain n-3 PUFAs and non-fried (broiled, steamed, baked or raw) fish were inversely related to subclinical atherosclerosis determined by cCIMT but not iCIMT, CAC or ABI. The multivariable odds ratio comparing the highest to the lowest quartile of dietary exposures in relation to subclinical atherosclerosis determined by cCIMT was 0.69 (95% CI: 0.55, 0.86; p for trend<0.01) for n-3 PUFA intake, 0.80 (95% CI: 0.64, 1.01; p=0.054) for non-fried fish and 0.90 (95% CI: 0.73, 1.10; p=0.33) for fried fish consumption.
Conclusions
This study indicates that dietary intake of long-chain n-3 PUFAs or non-fried fish is associated with lower prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis classified by cCIMT although significant changes in iCIMT, CAC and ABI were not observed. Our findings also suggest that the association of fish and atherosclerosis may vary depending on the type of fish meal consumed and the measures of atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4151325  PMID: 18842801
long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; fish; fish oil; biomarker; subclinical atherosclerosis; multi-ethnicities
13.  Comparison of Novel Risk Markers for Improvement in Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Intermediate Risk Individuals. The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Context
Risk markers including coronary artery calcium (CAC), carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), ankle-brachial Index (ABI), brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD), high sensitivity C -reactive protein (hs-CRP) and family history (FH) of coronary heart disease (CHD) have been reported to improve on the Framingham risk score (FRS) for prediction of CHD. However, there are no direct comparisons of these markers for risk prediction in a single cohort.
Objective
We compared improvement in prediction of incident CHD/cardiovascular disease (CVD) of these 6 risk markers within intermediate risk participants (5 % < FRS < 20%) in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Design, Setting and Participants
Of 6814 MESA participants from 6 US field centers, 1330 were intermediate risk, without diabetes mellitus, and had complete data on all 6 markers. Recruitment spanned July 2000 to September 2002; follow-up extended through May 2011. Probability- weighted Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR). Area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC) and net reclassification improvement (NRI) were used to compare incremental contributions of each marker when added to the FRS + race/ethnicity.
Main Outcome Measures
Incident CHD defined as MI, angina followed by revascularization, resuscitated cardiac arrest or CHD death. Incident CVD additionally included stroke or CVD death.
Results
After median follow-up of 7.6 years (IQR 7.3 – 7.8 years), 94 CHD and 123 CVD events occurred. CAC, ABI, hs-CRP and FH were independently associated with incident CHD in multivariable analyses [HR (95%CI: 2.60(1.94-3.50), 0.79(0.66-0.95), 1.28(1.00-1.64) and 2.18(1.38-3.42) respectively]. CIMT and FMD were not associated with incident CHD in multivariable analyses [HR (95%CI) 1.17(0.95- 1.45) and 0.95(0.78 −1.14) respectively]. Although the addition of the markers individually to the FRS +race/ethnicity improved the AUC, CAC afforded the highest increment (0.623 vs. 0.784) while FMD afforded the least [0.623 vs. 0.639]. For incident CHD, the NRI with CAC was 0.659, FMD 0.024, ABI 0.036, CIMT 0.102, FH 0.160 and hs-CRP 0.079. Similar results were obtained for incident CVD.
Conclusion
CAC, ABI, hs-CRP and FH are independent predictors of incident CHD/CVD in intermediate risk individuals. CAC provides superior discrimination and risk reclassification compared with other risk markers.
doi:10.1001/jama.2012.9624
PMCID: PMC4141475  PMID: 22910756
14.  Regional Left Ventricular Myocardial Dysfunction as a Predictor of Incident Cardiovascular Events 
Objectives
We sought to examine the prognostic value of subclinical left ventricular (LV) regional myocardial dysfunction (RMD) measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) among asymptomatic individuals.
Background
LV RMD, defined as segmental impairment in systolic wall thickening, predicts adverse events in patients with established cardiovascular disease. MRI is highly accurate for detecting subtle RMD, of which the prognostic significance in a large multiethnic asymptomatic population is not known.
Methods
We used MRI to evaluate baseline regional LV myocardial function and prospectively followed a multiethnic (African American, Caucasian, Chinese, and Hispanic) population-based sample of 4,510 men and women without cardiovascular disease for a mean of 4.6 years. Regional myocardial dysfunction was defined as the presence of impaired systolic wall thickening (<10th percentile of segment-specific population distribution) in ≥2 contiguous LV segments within any given coronary artery territory.
Results
Baseline prevalence of RMD was 25.6%. Heart failure developed in 34 (1.0%) and 30 (2.6%) participants without and with RMD, respectively (p < 0.001). After adjustment for demographics and traditional risk factors, RMD remained independently associated with incident heart failure (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.62; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.56 to 4.39; p < 0.001). The relationship persisted after further adjustment for biomarkers of reported association with cardiovascular disease and indexes of global LV systolic dysfunction and hypertrophy (HR: 1.80; 95% CI: 1.02 to 3.20; p = 0.044). Similarly, RMD independently conferred an increased risk for hard coronary events (myocardial infarction or death from coronary heart disease; HR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.06 to 2.89; p = 0.029), the composite of hard coronary events and stroke (HR: 1.72; 95% CI: 1.16 to 2.56; p = 0.005), and all atherosclerotic cardiovascular events (HR: 1.50; 95% CI: 1.09 to 2.07; p = 0.012).
Conclusions
Among an asymptomatic multiethnic American cohort, RMD is an independent predictor beyond traditional risk factors and global LV assessment for incident heart failure and atherosclerotic cardiovascular events. The clinical utility of early recognition of this subclinical phenotype deserves further investigation.
doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.10.060
PMCID: PMC4124734  PMID: 21511109
epidemiology; heart failure; magnetic resonance imaging; myocardial dysfunction; prognosis
15.  DASH Eating Pattern Is Associated with Favorable Left Ventricular Function in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Objective
Potential associations between consistency with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and preclinical stages of heart failure (HF) in a large multiethnic cohort have not been evaluated. This study sought to determine the cross-sectional relationship between the DASH eating pattern and left ventricular (LV) function in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Design
A total of 4506 men and women from four ethnic groups (40% white, 24% African American, 22% Hispanic American, and 14% Chinese American) aged 45–84 years and free of clinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) were studied. Diet was assessed using a validated food-frequency questionnaire. LV functional parameters including end-diastolic volume, stroke volume, and LV ejection fraction were measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Multivariate analyses were conducted to examine the association between LV function and DASH eating pattern (including high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts, and low-fat dairy products and low consumption of red meat, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages).
Results
A 1-unit increase in DASH eating pattern score was associated with a 0.26 ml increase in end-diastolic volume and increases of 0.10 ml/m2 in stroke volume, adjusted for key confounders. A 1-unit increase in DASH eating pattern score was also associated with a 0.04% increase in ejection fraction, but the relationship was marginally significant (p = 0.08).
Conclusions
In this population, greater DASH diet consistency is associated with favorable LV function. DASH dietary patterns could be protective against HF.
PMCID: PMC4119794  PMID: 23756584
DASH diet; LV function; preclinical heart failure
16.  Characterizing Spatial Patterns of Airborne Coarse Particulate (PM10–2.5) Mass and Chemical Components in Three Cities: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2014;122(8):823-830.
Background: The long-term health effects of coarse particular matter (PM10–2.5) are challenging to assess because of a limited understanding of the spatial variation in PM10–2.5 mass and its chemical components.
Objectives: We conducted a spatially intensive field study and developed spatial prediction models for PM10–2.5 mass and four selected species (copper, zinc, phosphorus, and silicon) in three American cities.
Methods: PM10–2.5 snapshot campaigns were conducted in Chicago, Illinois; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 2009 for the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Coarse Airborne Particulate Matter (MESA Coarse). In each city, samples were collected simultaneously outside the homes of approximately 40 participants over 2 weeks in the winter and/or summer. City-specific and combined prediction models were developed using land use regression (LUR) and universal kriging (UK). Model performance was evaluated by cross-validation (CV).
Results: PM10–2.5 mass and species varied within and between cities in a manner that was predictable by geographic covariates. City-specific LUR models generally performed well for total mass (CV R2, 0.41–0.68), copper (CV R2, 0.51–0.86), phosphorus (CV R2, 0.50–0.76), silicon (CV R2, 0.48–0.93), and zinc (CV R2, 0.36–0.73). Models pooled across all cities inconsistently captured within-city variability. Little difference was observed between the performance of LUR and UK models in predicting concentrations.
Conclusions: Characterization of fine-scale spatial variability of these often heterogeneous pollutants using geographic covariates should reduce exposure misclassification and increase the power of epidemiological studies investigating the long-term health impacts of PM10–2.5.
Citation: Zhang K, Larson TV, Gassett A, Szpiro AA, Daviglus M, Burke GL, Kaufman JD, Adar SD. 2014. Characterizing spatial patterns of airborne coarse particulate (PM10–2.5) mass and chemical components in three cities: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Environ Health Perspect 122:823–830; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307287
doi:10.1289/ehp.1307287
PMCID: PMC4123025  PMID: 24642481
17.  Relationship Between Brachial Flow - Mediated Dilation and Carotid Intima- Media Thickness in an Elderly Cohort: The Cardiovascular Health Study 
Atherosclerosis  2007;197(2):840-845.
Objective
The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in a large multi-ethnic elderly cohort.
Background
Brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is a physiologic measure and Carotid IMT is an anatomic structural measure of subclinical atherosclerosis. Both brachial FMD and carotid IMT have been associated with cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular events. The relationship between brachial FMD and carotid IMT is less clear especially in older adults.
Methods
Brachial FMD, carotid IMT and traditional cardiovascular risk factors were measured in 2338 adults, age 72–98 years who were participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study. The relationship between FMD and IMT was assessed both unadjusted and also after adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity. BMI, HDL, LDL, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, serum creatinine, current smoking, diabetes mellitus, hormone therapy and prior CVD.
Results
Both brachial FMD and carotid IMT correlated significantly with age, HDL levels, waist/hip ratio, serum cholesterol and number of CV risk factors. Brachial FMD was not associated with CCA IMT in this elderly cohort (Pearson partial correlation coefficient= −0.0252, p=0.222). In the adjusted linear regression model with CCA IMT as the dependent variable, brachial FMD was also not associated with CCA IMT (beta coefficient= −0.006, p=0.470)
Conclusion
Brachial FMD and CCA IMT are not related in population-based older adults. Brachial FMD and CCA IMT may be distinct and independent stages in the complex atherosclerotic process.
doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.07.032
PMCID: PMC4115586  PMID: 17804000
Brachial flow-mediated dilation; carotid intima-media thickness; endothelial function; atherosclerosis; elderly
18.  ASSOCIATION BETWEEN BRACHIAL ARTERY REACTIVITY AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE STATUS IN AN ELDERLY COHORT: THE CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH STUDY 
Atherosclerosis  2007;197(2):768-776.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
The association of brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) status is unclear especially in older adults whose FMD is greatly diminished. We assessed the association of FMD and the presence or absence of subclinical and clinical CVD in a population based cohort of older adults.
METHODS AND RESULTS
FMD was measured in 2971 adults aged 72–98 years (mean age 78.6 years) who participated in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine the association between FMD and CVD status (clinical, subclinical and free of CVD). Out of 2791 with complete data, 82.7% were Caucasians and 59% females. 743 were classified as having clinical CVD, 607 as subclinical CVD and 1441 as neither clinical CVD nor subclinical CVD (CVD free). FMD was higher in the CVD free group compared with either the clinical (3.13 ± 0.05% vs 2.93 ± 0.07%, p=0.025) or the subclinical CVD group (3.13± 0.05% vs 2.95± 0.08%, p=0.05) after adjusting for covariates. There was no significant difference between the FMD of subjects with clinical and subclinical CVD (2.93 ± 0.07% vs 2.95 ± 0.08%, p=0.84). Similar but inverted associations were observed between height adjusted brachial artery diameter (BAD) and CVD status. However, FMD and BAD had poor diagnostic accuracies for identifying older adults with subclinical CVD.
CONCLUSION
Among older adults, those with either clinical or subclinical CVD have lower FMD than CVD free subjects. BAD showed similar but inverted associations with CVD status in this cohort. FMD and BAD had poor diagnostic accuracies for identifying older adults with subclinical CVD.
doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.07.013
PMCID: PMC4115610  PMID: 17714717
Brachial flow-mediated dilation; brachial artery diameter; cardiovascular disease; elderly
19.  The association of pericardial fat with calcified coronary plaque 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2008;16(8):1914-1919.
Background
Pericardial fat has a higher secretion of inflammatory cytokines than subcutaneous fat. Cytokines released from pericardial fat around coronary arteries may act locally on the adjacent cells.
Objective
We examined the relationship between pericardial fat and calcified coronary plaque.
Design
Participants in the community-based Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis underwent a computed tomography scan for the assessment of calcified coronary plaque in 2001/02. We measured the volume of pericardial fat using these scans in 159 whites and blacks without symptomatic coronary heart disease from Forsyth County, NC, aged 55–74 years.
Results
Calcified coronary plaque was observed in 91 participants (57%). After adjusting for height, a one standard deviation increment in pericardial fat was associated with an increased odds of calcified coronary plaque (odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 1.92 (1.27, 2.90)). With further adjustment of other cardiovascular factors, pericardial fat was still significantly associated with calcified coronary plaque. This relationship did not differ by gender and ethnicity. On the other hand, body mass index and height-adjusted waist circumference were not associated with calcified coronary plaque.
Conclusions
Pericardial fat is independently associated with calcified coronary plaque.
doi:10.1038/oby.2008.278
PMCID: PMC4098129  PMID: 18535554
coronary heart disease; body mass index; waist circumference
20.  Low-Risk Lifestyle, Coronary Calcium, Cardiovascular Events, and Mortality: Results From MESA 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(1):12-21.
Unhealthy lifestyle habits are a major contributor to coronary artery disease. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the associations of smoking, weight maintenance, physical activity, and diet with coronary calcium, cardiovascular events, and mortality. US participants who were 44–84 years of age (n = 6,229) were followed in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis from 2000 to 2010. A lifestyle score ranging from 0 to 4 was created using diet, exercise, body mass index, and smoking status. Coronary calcium was measured at baseline and a mean of 3.1 (standard deviation, 1.3) years later to assess calcium progression. Participants who experienced coronary events or died were followed for a median of 7.6 (standard deviation, 1.5) years. Participants with lifestyle scores of 1, 2, 3, and 4 were found to have mean adjusted annual calcium progressions that were 3.5 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.0, 7.0), 4.2 (95% CI: 0.6, 7.9), 6.8 (95% CI: 2.0, 11.5), and 11.1 (95% CI: 2.2, 20.1) points per year slower, respectively, relative to the reference group (P = 0.003). Unadjusted hazard ratios for death by lifestyle score were as follows: for a score of 1, the hazard ratio was 0.79 (95% CI: 0.61, 1.03); for a score of 2, the hazard ratio was 0.61 (95% CI: 0.46, 0.81); for a score of 3, the hazard ratio was 0.49 (95% CI: 0.32, 0.75); and for a score of 4, the hazard ratio was 0.19 (95% CI: 0.05, 0.75) (P < 0.001 by log-rank test). In conclusion, a combination of regular exercise, healthy diet, smoking avoidance, and weight maintenance was associated with lower coronary calcium incidence, slower calcium progression, and lower all-cause mortality over 7.6 years.
doi:10.1093/aje/kws453
PMCID: PMC3698994  PMID: 23733562
coronary artery disease; CT and MRI; diet; epidemiology; exercise; primary prevention; risk factors; weight reduction
21.  Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging Reduces Revascularization, Hospital Readmission, and Recurrent Cardiac Testing in Intermediate Risk Patients with Acute Chest Pain: A Randomized Trial 
JACC. Cardiovascular imaging  2013;6(7):785-794.
Objectives
To determine the effect of stress cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in an observation unit (OU) on revascularization, hospital readmission, and recurrent cardiac testing in intermediate risk patients with possible acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Background
Intermediate risk patients commonly undergo hospital admission with high rates of coronary revascularization. It is unknown whether OU-based care with CMR is a more efficient alternative.
Methods
We randomized 105 intermediate risk participants with symptoms of ACS but without definite ACS based on the first electrocardiogram and troponin to usual care provided by Cardiologists and Internists (n=53) versus OU care with stress CMR (n=52). We determined the primary composite endpoint of coronary artery revascularization, hospital readmission, and recurrent cardiac testing at 90 days. The secondary endpoint was length of stay from randomization to index visit discharge; safety was measured as ACS after discharge.
Results
The median age of participants was 56 (range 35 to 91) years, 54% were men, and 20% had pre-existing coronary disease. Index hospital admission was avoided in 85% of the OU-CMR participants. The primary outcome occurred in 20 (38%) usual care versus 7 (13%) OU-CMR participants (hazard ratio 3.4, 95% CI 1.4 – 8.0, p = .006). The OU-CMR group experienced significant reductions in all components: revascularizations [15% vs 2%, p=0.03], hospital readmissions [23% vs 8%, p = .03], and recurrent cardiac testing [17% vs 4%, p = .03]. Median length of stay was 26 hours (IQR: 23 – 45) in the usual care group and 21 hours (IQR: 15 – 25) in the OU-CMR group (p < .001). ACS after discharge occurred in 3 (6%) usual care and no OU-CMR participants.
Conclusions
In this single center trial, management of intermediate risk patients with possible ACS in an OU with stress CMR reduced coronary artery revascularization, hospital readmissions, and recurrent cardiac testing without an increase in post-discharge ACS at 90 days.
doi:10.1016/j.jcmg.2012.11.022
PMCID: PMC3710522  PMID: 23664718
chest pain; acute coronary syndrome; angioplasty; balloon; coronary; magnetic resonance imaging
22.  APOM and High-Density Lipoprotein are associated with Lung Function and Percent Emphysema 
The European respiratory journal  2013;43(4):1003-1017.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is linked to cardiovascular disease; however, there are few studies on the associations of cardiovascular genes with COPD.
We assessed the association of lung function with 2,100 genes selected for cardiovascular diseases among 20,077 European-Americans and 6,900 African-Americans. We performed replication of significant loci in the other racial group and an independent consortium of Europeans, tested the associations of significant loci with percent emphysema, and examined gene expression in an independent sample. We then tested the association of a related lipid biomarker with FEV1/FVC and percent emphysema.
We identified one new polymorphism for FEV1/FVC (rs805301) in European-Americans (p=1.3×10−6) and a second (rs707974) in the combined European-American and African-American analysis (p=1.38×10−7). Both SNPs flank the gene for apolipoprotein M (apoM), a component of HDL. Both replicated in an independent cohort. SNPs in a second gene related to apoM and HDL, PCSK9, were associated with FEV1/FVC among African-Americans. rs707974 was associated with percent emphysema among European-Americans and African-Americans, and APOM expression was related to FEV1/FVC and percent emphysema. Higher HDL levels were associated with lower FEV1/FVC and greater percent emphysema.
These findings suggest a novel role for the APOM/HDL pathway in the pathogenesis of COPD and emphysema.
doi:10.1183/09031936.00147612
PMCID: PMC4041087  PMID: 23900982
Apolipoproteins; Cholesterol; Percent Emphysema; Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide; Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
23.  Statin Therapy and Levels of Hemostatic Factors in a Healthy Population: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Background
HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) reduce risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in healthy people. Statins reduce levels of inflammation biomarkers, however the mechanism for reduction in VTE risk is unknown. In a large cohort of healthy people, we studied associations of statin use with plasma hemostatic factors related to VTE risk.
Methods
Cross-sectional analyses were performed in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a cohort study of 6814 healthy men and women age 45–84, free of clinical cardiovascular disease at baseline; 1001 were using statins at baseline. Twenty-three warfarin users were excluded. Age, race, and sex-adjusted mean hemostatic factor levels were compared between statin users and nonusers, and multivariable linear regression models were used to assess associations of statin use with hemostasis factors, adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, education, income, hormone replacement therapy (in women), and major cardiovascular risk factors.
Results
Participants using statins had lower adjusted levels of D-dimer (−9%), C-reactive protein (−21%) and factor VIII (−3%) than non-users (p<0.05). Homocysteine and von Willebrand factor were non-significantly lower with statin use. Higher fibrinogen (2%) and PAI-1 (22%) levels were observed among statin users than nonusers (p<0.05). Further adjustment for LDL and triglyceride levels did not attenuate the observed differences in these factors by statin use.
Conclusions
Findings of lower D-dimer, factor VIII and C-reactive protein levels with statin use suggest hypotheses for mechanisms whereby statins might lower VTE risk. A prospective study or clinical trial linking these biochemical differences to VTE outcomes in statin users and nonusers is warranted.
doi:10.1111/jth.12223
PMCID: PMC3702638  PMID: 23565981
statins; thrombosis; risk factor; blood coagulation; inflammation; fibrinolysis
24.  Racial Variations in the Prevalence of Refractive Errors in the United States: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
American journal of ophthalmology  2013;155(6):1129-1138.e1.
PURPOSE
To describe racial variations in the prevalence of refractive errors among adult white, Chinese, Hispanic, and black subjects in the United States.
DESIGN
Cross-sectional data from a prospective cohort study—the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
METHODS
A total of 6000 adults aged 45 to 84 years living in the United States participated in the study. Refractive error was assessed, without cycloplegia, in both eyes of all participants using an autorefractor. After excluding eyes with cataract, cataract surgery, or previous refractive surgery, the eye with the larger absolute spherical equivalent (SE) value for each participant was used to classify refractive error. Any myopia was defined as SE of −1.0 diopters (D) or less; high myopia was defined as SE of −5.0 D or less; any hyperopia was defined as SE of +1.0 D or more; clinically significant hyperopia was defined as SE of +3.0 D or more. Astigmatism was defined as a cylinder value of +1.0 D or more.
RESULTS
After excluding 508 participants with cataracts in both eyes, 838 participants with cataract surgery, 90 participants with laser refractive surgery, and 134 participants who refused to remove their contact lenses for the refraction measurement, 4430 adults with refractive error assessment in at least 1 eye contributed to the analysis. The prevalence of myopia among MESA participants was 25.1%, with lowest rates in Hispanic participants (14.2%), followed by black (21.5%) and white participants (31.0%), and highest rates in Chinese participants (37.2%). The overall rates of high myopia and astigmatism were 4.6% and 45.0%, respectively, with Chinese subjects also having the highest rates of high myopia (11.8%) and astigmatism (53.4%). The overall prevalence of any hyperopia was 38.2% and clinically significant hyperopia was 6.1%, with Hispanic participants having the highest rates of hyperopia (50.2%) and clinically significant hyperopia (8.8%). In multivariate analyses adjusting for age, sex, race, and study site, higher education level, being employed, and being taller were associated with a higher prevalence of myopia. In contrast, lower educational level and being shorter were associated with a higher prevalence of hyperopia.
CONCLUSIONS
Myopia and astigmatism were most prevalent in the Chinese population, with Chinese subjects having 3 times the prevalence of myopia as Hispanic subjects. Hyperopia was most common in Hispanic subjects. These findings provide further insights into variations in refractive errors among different racial groups and have important implications for the eye care services in the United States.
doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2013.01.009
PMCID: PMC3759975  PMID: 23453694
25.  Pulse Pressure and Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
American Journal of Hypertension  2013;26(5):636-642.
BACKGROUND
Brachial pulse pressure (PP) has been found to be associated with markers of subclinical cardiovascular disease, including carotid intima–media thickness and left-ventricular mass index (LVMI), but it is unclear whether these associations are independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and of the steady, nonpulsatile component of blood pressure (BP). Moreover, it is unknown whether these associations are modified by gender, age, or race/ethnicity.
METHODS
We used multivariate linear regression models to assess the relationship between brachial PP and three markers of subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) (common carotid intima–media thickness (CC-IMT), internal carotid intima–media thickness (IC-IMT), and LVMI) in four race/ethnic groups in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. The models were adjusted for traditional Framingham risk factors (age, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, diabetes, smoking status), use of lipid-lowering medication, use of antihypertensive medication, study site, and mean arterial pressure (MAP).
RESULTS
The assessment was done on 6,776 participants (2,612 non-Hispanic white, 1,870 African-American, 1,494 Hispanic, and 800 Chinese persons). The associations between brachial PP and CC-IMT, IC-IMT, and LVMI were significant in fully adjusted models. The three subclinical markers also showed significant interactions with gender (P < 0.0001), with stronger interactions in men. There was an interaction with age for LVMI (P = 0.004) and IC-IMT (P = 0.008). Race/ethnicity modified the association of PP with CC-IMT.
CONCLUSIONS
Brachial PP was independently associated with subclinical CVD after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors and mean arterial pressure (MAP). The strength of the association differed significantly for strata of gender, age, and race/ethnicity.
doi:10.1093/ajh/hps092
PMCID: PMC3657481  PMID: 23388832
pulse pressare; subclinical cardiovascular disease; carotid intima–media thickness; left ventricular mass index; aging; hypertension; arterial stiffness; blood pressure.

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