Physical Activity, Parental History of Premature Coronary Heart Disease, and Incident Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

Roberta Florido, Di Zhao, Chiadi E. Ndumele, Pamela L. Lutsey, John W. Mcevoy, B. Gwen Windham, James S. Pankow, Eliseo Guallar, Erin D. Michos

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12 Scopus citations


Background: The effects of some atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk factors vary according to whether an individual has a family history (FHx) of premature coronary heart disease (CHD). Physical activity (PA) is associated with reduced risk of ASCVD, but whether this association varies by FHx status is not well established. Methods and Results: We evaluated 9996 participants free of ASCVD at baseline. FHx of premature CHD was defined as CHD occurring in a father before age 55 or mother before age 60. PA, assessed by a Baecke questionnaire, was converted into minutes/week of moderate or vigorous exercise and categorized per American Heart Association guidelines as recommended, intermediate, or poor. Incident ASCVD was defined as incident myocardial infarction, fatal CHD, or stroke. Multivariable-adjusted Cox hazard models were used. The mean age was 54±6 years, 56% were women, and 21% of black race. Participants with and without a FHx of premature CHD reported similar levels of PA at baseline (423 versus 409 metabolic equivalents of task×min/week, respectively, P=0.852), and ≈40% of both groups met American Heart Association recommended PA levels. Over a mean follow-up of 20.9 years, there were 1723 incident ASCVD events. Compared to those with poor PA adherence to American Heart Association guidelines, participants who reported PA at recommended levels had significantly lower risk of incident ASCVD after adjustment for demographics and lifestyle factors (hazard ratio 0.84, 95% CI 0.74-0.94), but this association was not modified by FHx status (P-interaction=0.680). Conclusions: PA was associated with a reduced risk of ASCVD among individuals with and without a FHx of premature CHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere003505
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study is carried out as a collaborative study supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contracts (HHSN268201100005C, HHSN268201100006C, HHSN268201100007C, HHSN2682 01100008C, HHSN268201100009C, HHSN2682011000 10C, HHSN268201100011C, and HHSN268201100012C). Dr Michos is supported by a grant R01NS072243 from National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Blumenthal Scholars Award in Preventive Cardiology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.


  • Cardiovascular disease prevention
  • Cardiovascular disease risk factors
  • Cardiovascular events
  • Family history
  • Physical exercise


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