Ultrasonographic manifestations of common carotid atherosclerosis in elderly eastern Finnish men. Prevalence and associations with cardiovascular diseases and risk factors.
We investigated the prevalence and associations with cardiovascular symptoms, signs, and risk factors of common carotid atherosclerosis using B-mode ultrasonography in a population sample of 182 eastern Finnish men aged 70 to 89 years. Men were examined in 1989 as a part of the 30-year follow-up examination of the eastern Finnish cohort of the Seven Countries Study. The mean maximal intima-media thickness (IMT) of the right and left common carotid arteries was 1.5 mm (range, 0.7 to 5.3 mm; standard deviation, 0.7 mm). Fifty-one percent of the subjects had nonmineralized atheroma and 91% had single or multiple mineralizations in any of the arterial segments imaged. Both mean maximal IMT and nonmineralized atheromas were associated significantly (P < .05) with the presence of cerebral atherosclerosis, carotid murmur, at least one nonpalpable peripheral arterial pulse, ischemic resting electrocardiographic abnormalities, and history of coronary heart disease but not with intermittent claudication at the 30-year follow-up. No significant associations were found between carotid mineralizations and clinical cardiovascular disease. Long-term elevations of serum cholesterol and long-term smoking, measured as the number of risk factor elevations in the six examinations, were associated with the presence of nonmineralized atheroma in the elderly (in 1989). Smoking and repeatedly detected hypertension, on the other hand, had an association with the presence of mineralizations in 1989.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association