BiomarCaRE: Lifetime Risk of CVD in Europe

Smoking, diabetes, abnormal lipids, hypertension and abdominal obesity make up 30 percent of cardiovascular risk across Europe and “is differentially weighted according to age groups, gender and European regions,” according to results from BiomarCaRE project presented Nov. 14 during AHA 2016.

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis at the individual level of European data from more than 200,000 individuals derived from 12 cohorts over a period of 40 years. The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, hypertension, total cholesterol, diabetes and body-mass-index) was calculated according to age groups for men and women. Additionally, the population attributable risks (PARs) of these risk factors were estimated for the 10-year incidence and lifetime risk of cardiovascular outcome.

Results showed that of 22,144 individuals suffering from incident cardiovascular disease in Europe only 958 (4.3 percent) had no cardiovascular risk factors at baseline; while 4,707 (21.3 percent) had at least one risk factor; 39.7 percent had two risk factors; and 34.8 percent had three or more risk factors. In terms of PARs, diabetes (PAR 12.6 percent), smoking (PAR 5.4 percent) and hypertension (PAR 5.6 percent) were highest, followed by total cholesterol (PAR 3.6 percent) and BMI (PAR 2.8 percent). All risk factors were significantly related to incident cardiovascular disease and were noted in men and women at all ages. Researchers did highlight moderated differences between European regions.

"The presence of elevated levels of risk factors at all ages translated into markedly higher lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease," said Stefan Blankenberg of the University Heart Center, Hamburg, Germany. He adds that moving forward, there is still room to identify novel potentially causal cardiovascular risk factors. He notes that the current calculations are based on a mainly white population of Caucasian origin so further research in additional European populations is important.

Clinical Topics: Prevention

Keywords: AHA16, American Heart Association, AHA Annual Scientific Sessions, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cardiovascular System, Europe, Primary Prevention, Research Personnel, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors

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