Prevalence and progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in younger adults with low short-term but high lifetime estimated risk for cardiovascular disease. The coronary artery risk development in young adults study and multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis

Jarett D. Berry, Kiang Liu, Aaron R. Folsom, Cora E. Lewis, J. Jeffrey Carr, Joseph F. Polak, Steven Shea, Stephen Sidney, Daniel H. O'Leary, Cheeling Chan, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

188 Scopus citations


Background - We hypothesized that individuals with low 10-year but high lifetime cardiovascular disease risk would have a greater burden of subclinical atherosclerosis than those with low 10-year but low lifetime risk. Methods and Results - We included 2988 individuals ≤50 years of age at examination year 15 from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study and 1076 individuals ≤50 of age at study entry from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). The 10-year risk and lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease were estimated for each participant, permitting stratification into 3 groups: low 10-year (<10%)/low lifetime (<39%) risk, low 10-year (<10%)/high lifetime risk (≥39%), and high 10-year risk (≥10%) or diagnosed diabetes mellitus. Baseline levels and change in levels of subclinical atherosclerosis (coronary artery calcium or carotid intima-media thickness) were compared across risk strata. Among participants with low 10-year risk (91% of all participants) in CARDIA, those with a high lifetime risk compared with low lifetime risk had significantly greater common (0.83 versus 0.80 mm in men; 0.79 versus 0.75 mm in women) and internal (0.85 versus 0.80 mm in men; 0.80 versus 0.76 mm in women) carotid intima-media thickness, higher coronary artery calcium prevalence (16.6% versus 9.8% in men; 7.1% versus 2.3% in women), and significantly greater incidence of coronary artery calcium progression (22.3% versus 15.4% in men; 8.7% versus 5.3% in women). Similar results were observed in MESA. Conclusions - Individuals with low 10-year but high lifetime risk have a greater subclinical disease burden and greater incidence of atherosclerotic progression compared with individuals with low 10-year and low lifetime risk, even at younger ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-389
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 27 2009



  • Epidemiology prevention risk estimation risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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