Background: Numerous studies have identified risk factors and markers associated with incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, few studies have examined whether established risk factors, novel blood markers, carotid ultrasonography, or ankle-brachial index can predict recurrent CVD events. Methods and Results: We analyzed the relation of established risk factors and markers of atherosclerosis with the risk of recurrent CVD in 766 participants. Over a mean of 8.7 years of follow-up, 70 women and 243 men had a recurrent CVD event (85.3% coronary heart disease and 23.7% stroke). Adjusting for age and sex, this study found that established risk factors were associated with recurrent CVD events in the anticipated direction. Being in the highest (vs lowest) quartiles of lipoprotein (a), fibrinogen, white blood cells, and creatinine at baseline were associated with 47%, 69%, 65%, and 81%, respectively, greater risk of a CVD event, and being in the highest quartile of albumin was associated with 39% lower risk. Being in the highest (vs lowest) quartile of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) was associated with a doubling of risk, and having carotid plaque with acoustic shadowing (vs having no plaque) was associated with 83% increased risk of a CVD event. After adjustment for established risk factors, creatinine, albumin, and carotid IMT in the highest quartile (vs lowest quartile) and carotid plaque with acoustic shadowing (vs no plaque) were independently associated with recurrent CVD events. Conclusion: Established risk factors, but only a few of novel risk factors and markers, were independent predictors of recurrent CVD events.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The ARIC Study was supported by NHLBI contracts N01-HC-55015, N01-HC-55016, N01-HC-55018, N01-HC-55019, N01-HC-55020, N01-HC-55021, and N01-HC-55022. Dr Wattanakit was supported by NHLBI training grant T32 HL07779. We thank Ching-Ping Hong and Lu Wang for programming assistance and the participants and staff of the ARIC Study for their important contributions.