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Int J Epidemiol. 1990 Dec;19(4):911-7.

Association of serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol, smoking and hypertension with different manifestations of atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Community Health and General Practice, University of Kuopio, Finland.


We investigated the association of elevated serum low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, smoking and hypertension with different manifestations of carotid atherosclerosis in a population-based sample of 720 Eastern Finnish men aged 42, 48, 54 or 60 years, examined in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Carotid atherosclerosis was assessed with high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography. Men who had neither a history nor symptoms of cardiovascular disease with serum LDL cholesterol concentration in the highest tertile (4.17 mM or more) had 3.40-fold (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.98-5.84) age-, smoking- and hypertension-adjusted probability of intimal-medial thickening as compared to men in the lowest serum LDL cholesterol tertile. The odds ratio for carotid plaque versus intimal-medial thickening was only 1.03 (95% CI 0.47-2.28). The respective odds ratios for smoking (28 pack-years or more) were 1.62 (95% CI 0.79-3.32) and 3.02 (95% CI 1.41-6.47) and those for hypertension were 1.10 (95% CI 0.70-1.73) and 0.99 (95% CI 0.53-1.84). Our findings suggest that elevated serum LDL cholesterol concentration associates with an increased risk of common carotid arterial wall thickening, whereas smoking is associated more strongly with carotid plaques than intimal-medial thickening. Our cross-sectional data do not support association between hypertension and either manifestation of carotid atherosclerosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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