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Ultrasound-assessed plaque occurrence in the carotid and femoral arteries are independent predictors of cardiovascular events in middle-aged men during 10 years of follow-up

  • L. Davidsson
    Affiliations
    Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic research, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

    The Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, Institution of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, Göteborg, Sweden
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  • B. Fagerberg
    Affiliations
    Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic research, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

    The Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, Institution of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, Göteborg, Sweden
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  • G. Bergström
    Affiliations
    Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic research, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

    The Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, Institution of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, Göteborg, Sweden
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  • C. Schmidt
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Wallenberg Laboratory, Institution of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, Göteborg S-413 45, Sweden. Tel.: +46 31 342 23 56; fax: +46 31 82 97 06.
    Affiliations
    Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic research, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

    The Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, Institution of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, Göteborg, Sweden
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To examine if plaques in the carotid and femoral arteries were associated with cardiovascular events during a 10-year follow-up independently of usual risk factors for such diseases.

      Methods

      Plaque occurrence in both carotid arteries, and in the right femoral artery were assessed at baseline by B-mode ultrasound in a population-based sample of 58-year-old men (n = 391) with no cardiovascular disease, and varying degrees of obesity and insulin sensitivity at entry. Anthropometry and blood pressure were recorded. Fasting venous blood samples were used for measurement of cardiovascular risk factors. Cardiovascular events occurring during follow-up were obtained by access to register data.

      Results

      Systolic blood pressure, serum triglycerides and waist–hip ratio as well as baseline occurrence of carotid and femoral plaques were associated with events. Logistic multi-variate analyses showed that carotid plaques (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.05–4.16, p = 0.037), femoral plaques (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.01–3.91, p = 0.047) and concomitant presence of carotid, and femoral plaques (OR 2.53, 95% CI 1.23–5.21, p = 0.011) were associated with cardiovascular events independently of other risk factors. Plaques occurred in 0–3 arteries and there was a parallel increase in cardiovascular risk (p = 0.004).

      Conclusion

      Occurrence of carotid or femoral plaques at baseline had similar predictive value for cardiovascular events. Increased plaque burden, with plaques in both carotid and femoral arteries increased the cardiovascular risk further. Hence, the results from this study indicate that ultrasound examination of both the carotid and femoral arteries was the preferred method to predict cardiovascular risk.

      Keywords

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