Individual variation in susceptibility to extracranial carotid atherosclerosis.
Risk factors for coronary disease were assessed and noninvasive methods were used to quantitate the extent of extracranial carotid atherosclerosis in 382 patients free of cerebrovascular symptoms. The ages of the participants ranged from 27 to 80 years. There were 183 men and 199 women, 30 black and 352 white persons. All patients had heart disease symptoms and were hospitalized for coronary angiography. Correlation of risk factors with extent of extracranial carotid atherosclerosis in this series of patients undergoing coronary angiography uncovered individual variability in relationships between risk factors and carotid atherosclerosis that depended on coronary status. Risk factors for carotid atherosclerosis in patients with and without coronary disease differed. Age and hypertension were independently related to carotid atherosclerosis in patients with, as well as those without, coronary disease. However, other risk factors were related to carotid atherosclerosis in only one group or the other. Risk factors correlated strongly with carotid atherosclerosis in patients with coronary disease (r2 = 0.41) but poorly in those with no coronary disease (r2 = 0.21). Certain risk factors (age, pack years of smoking, left ventricular hypertrophy) related differently to the extent of carotid atherosclerosis in patients with, than in those without, coronary disease. Clarification of the role of coronary status in the carotid atherosclerosis response to risk factors may partly explain the results of certain population-based studies that have related race, gender, and other risk factors to carotid atherosclerosis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association