Author + information
- Received October 12, 1994
- Revision received May 23, 1995
- Accepted July 26, 1995
- Published online December 1, 1995.
- ↵*Address for correspondence: Dr. Markku Tervahauta, Department of Community Health and General Practice, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland.
Objectives. We attempted to determine whether elevated levels of the classic coronary heart disease risk factors are associated with increased coronary risk and all-cause mortality among elderly men with and without coronary heart disease at baseline.
Background. The strength of any association between the classic coronary risk factors and survival among elderly men with and without coronary heart disease has not been established.
Methods. The classic coronary risk factor levels and risk of coronary events and total mortality during a 5-year follow-up interval were studied among men aged 65 to 84 years. Coronary events were fatal myocardial infarction (n = 71), any myocardial infarction (n = 96) and, among the men without disease, other nonfatal coronary heart disease events (n = 80).
Results. Among the 171 men with prevalent coronary heart disease, significant (p < 0.05) risk factors for fatal myocardial infarction (n = 42) in multivariate analyses were low high density lipoprotein cholesterol (odds ratio [OR] 0.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1 to 0.8 for 1-mmol/liter increase), high ratio of total to high density lipoprotein cholesterol (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.7 for 1-U increase), and smoking more than nine cigarettes daily (OR 6.0, 95% CI 1.5 to 24.9 vs. values in men who had never smoked). Among the 476 men without prevalent coronary heart disease, only high serum total cholesterol was a risk factor for fatal myocardial infarction (n = 29) (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.0 for 1-mmol/liter increase). Among men with prevalent coronary heart disease, the only significant (p < 0.05) risk factor for total mortality was smoking more than nine cigarettes daily (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.1 to 13.4 vs. values among men who had never smoked). Among men without prevalent coronary heart disease, only the use of antihypertensive medication (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2 to 3.3 between men with and without such medication) was a risk factor for total mortality.
Conclusions. The classic risk factors for coronary heart disease appear to be of importance even in old age, especially among men with prevalent coronary heart disease.
This research was supported by Grant EDC-1 1 RO1 AG08762 from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland and by grants from the Finnish Academy of Science, the Finnish Heart Foundation and the Finnish Medical Foundation, Helsinki, Finland.
- Received October 12, 1994.
- Revision received May 23, 1995.
- Accepted July 26, 1995.
- American College of Cardiology