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Clin Sci (Lond). 2014 Jan;126(2):139-46. doi: 10.1042/CS20130178.

Combining risk markers improves cardiovascular risk prediction in women.

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*Department of General Internal Medicine, Division of Vascular Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Cardiovascular risk stratification could be improved by adding measures of atherosclerosis to current risk scores, especially in intermediate-risk individuals. We prospectively evaluated the additive value of different non-invasive risk markers (both individual and combined) for gender-specific cardiovascular risk stratification on top of traditional risk factors in a middle-aged population-based cohort. Carotid-plaques, IMT (intima-media thickness), ABI (ankle-brachial index), PWV (pulse-wave velocity), AIx (augmentation index), CAP (central augmented pressure) and CSP (central-systolic pressure) were measured in 1367 CVD (cardiovascular disease)-free participants aged 50-70 years old. Cardiovascular events were validated after a mean follow-up of 3.8 years. AUC (area-under-the-curve) and NRI (net reclassification improvement) analyses (total-NRI for all and clinical-NRI for intermediate-risk groups) were used to determine the additive value of individual and combined risk markers. Cardiovascular events occurred in 32 women and 39 men. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors explained 6.2% and 12.5% of the variance in CVD in women and men respectively. AUCs did not substantially increase by adding individual or combined non-invasive risk markers. Individual risk markers only improved reclassification in intermediate-risk women and more than in men; clinical-NRIs ranged between 48.0 and 173.1% in women and 8.9 and 20% in men. Combined non-invasive-risk markers improved reclassification in all women and even more in those at intermediate risk; 'IMT-presence-thickness-of-plaques' showed largest reclassification [total-NRI=33.8%, P=0.012; IDI (integrated-discrimination-improvement)=0.048, P=0.066; clinical-NRI=168.0%]. In men, combined non-invasive risk markers improved reclassification only in those at intermediate risk; 'PWV-AIx-CSP-CAP-IMT' showed the largest reclassification (total-NRI=14.5%, P=0.087; IDI=0.016, P=0.148; clinical-NRI=46.0%). In all women, cardiovascular risk stratification improved by adding combinations and in women at intermediate risk also by adding individual non-invasive risk markers. The additive value of individual and combined non-invasive risk markers in men is limited to men at intermediate risk only, and to a lesser extent than in women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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