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Predictors of subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in middle-aged women

Predictors of subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in middle-aged women

Plos One 13(5): E0197582-E0197582

Traditional strategies for primary cardiovascular prevention have been insufficient in reducing the high rates of coronary ischemic events in women, probably because these women are often stratified into low-risk groups. However, cardiovascular diseases continue to be the main cause of morbidity and mortality in women worldwide. We hypothesized that carotid atherosclerosis (CA) is common in middle-aged women. We prospectively evaluated asymptomatic peri- and post-menopausal women with no cardiovascular diseases or the use of hormone therapy from two gynecologic clinics. All the patients underwent full clinical and laboratory evaluation and underwent a B-mode ultrasound for carotid evaluations. The presence of CA was defined as the presence of plaque and/or carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT)>1.00 mm. We performed logistic regression to evaluate independent predictors of CA. We studied 823 women (age: 54.4±5.4 years; body mass index-BMI: 28.5±4.9 kg/m2; diabetes:10%; hypertension: 58%). The prevalence of CA was 12.7% for the entire population and 11% for the low-risk sub-group as defined by a Framingham risk score <5%. In the multivariate model, age: odds ratio (OR) = 1.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.25-1.89,p<0.001; current smoker status: OR = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.48-4.91, p = 0.001; total cholesterol: OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.03-1.24, p = 0.008; and systolic blood pressure: OR = 1.01, 95% CI = 1.00-1.02, p = 0.030 remained independently associated with CA. Subclinical CA is common among asymptomatic middle-aged women, and traditional risk factors are independently associated with CA. These findings are particularly relevant for improving cardiovascular health in women.

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Accession: 065425078

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PMID: 29791465

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197582

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