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Arch Intern Med. 2001 Apr 9;161(7):996-1002.

Risk factors for congestive heart failure in US men and women: NHANES I epidemiologic follow-up study.

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Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1430 Tulane Ave, SL18, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.



The incidence of congestive heart failure (CHF) has been increasing steadily in the United States during the past 2 decades. We studied risk factors for CHF and their corresponding attributable risk in the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study.


A total of 13 643 men and women without a history of CHF at baseline examination were included in this prospective cohort study. Risk factors were measured using standard methods between 1971 and 1975. Incidence of CHF was assessed using medical records and death certificates obtained between 1982 and 1984 and in 1986, 1987, and 1992.


During average follow-up of 19 years, 1382 CHF cases were documented. Incidence of CHF was positively and significantly associated with male sex (relative risk [RR], 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-1.39; P<.001; population attributable risk [PAR], 8.9%), less than a high school education (RR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.04-1.42; P =.01; PAR, 8.9%), low physical activity (RR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.09-1.38; P<.001; PAR, 9.2%), cigarette smoking (RR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.39-1.83; P<.001; PAR, 17.1%), overweight (RR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.12-1.52; P =.001; PAR, 8.0%), hypertension (RR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.24-1.59; P<.001; PAR, 10.1%), diabetes (RR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.51-2.28; P<.001; PAR, 3.1%), valvular heart disease (RR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.17-1.82; P =.001; PAR, 2.2%), and coronary heart disease (RR, 8.11; 95% CI, 6.95-9.46; P<.001; PAR, 61.6%).


Male sex, less education, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, overweight, diabetes, hypertension, valvular heart disease, and coronary heart disease are all independent risk factors for CHF. More than 60% of the CHF that occurs in the US general population might be attributable to coronary heart disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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