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Race and sex-based disparities associated with carotid endarterectomy in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study

      Highlights

      • The crude incidence of carotid endarterectomy varied significantly by sex and race.
      • After risk adjustment, the association of sex with carotid endarterectomy was attenuated.
      • Black participants had a persistently lower risk of incident carotid endarterectomy after risk adjustment.

      Abstract

      Background and aims

      The indications for carotid endarterectomy (CEA) are well established. The aim of the current study was to investigate sex and race-based disparities in the incidence of CEA after adjusting for carotid artery stenosis risk factors.

      Methods

      We conducted a prospective cohort analysis of 14,492 black and white participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study without prevalent stroke at baseline (1987–1989). We used Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for sociodemographic, cardiovascular, and disease severity risk factors to quantify the associations of sex and race with incident CEA.

      Results

      CEA was performed in 330 of 14,492 ARIC participants during a median of 27 years of follow-up [incidence rate 1.00 (95% CI 0.90–1.12) per 1000 persons-years]. The crude incidence of CEA varied significantly by sex [female vs. male: HR 0.60 (95% CI 0.48–0.74)] and race [black vs. white: HR 0.65 (95% CI 0.49–0.86)]. Adjustment for sociodemographic and cardiovascular risk factors, carotid intima-media thickness, and symptomatic status attenuated the association of sex with CEA [females vs. males HR 0.96 (0.76–1.22)], but black participants had a lower risk of incident CEA after adjustment [HR 0.68 (95% CI 0.49–0.95)].

      Conclusions

      We found significant variation in the incidence of CEA procedures based on race that was independent of traditional risk factors and carotid IMT. Whether this disparity is a reflection of differences in disease presentation or access to care deserves investigation.

      Graphical abstract

      Keywords

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