Subclinical Atherosclerosis, Statin Eligibility, and Outcomes in African American Individuals: The Jackson Heart Study

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Abstract

Importance

Modern prevention guidelines substantially increase the number of individuals who are eligible for treatment with statins. Efforts to refine statin eligibility via coronary calcification have been studied in white populations but not, to our knowledge, in large African American populations.

Objective

To compare the relative accuracy of US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) recommendations in identifying African American individuals with subclinical and clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).

Design, Setting, and Participants

In this prospective, community-based study, 2812 African American individuals aged 40 to 75 years without prevalent ASCVD underwent assessment of ASCVD risk. Of these, 1743 participants completed computed tomography.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Nonzero coronary artery calcium (CAC) score, abdominal aortic calcium score, and incident ASCVD (ie, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, or fatal coronary heart disease).

Results

Of the 2812 included participants, the mean (SD) age at baseline was 55.4 (9.4) years, and 1837 (65.3%) were female. The USPSTF guidelines captured 404 of 732 African American individuals (55.2%) with a CAC score greater than 0; the ACC/AHA guidelines identified 507 individuals (69.3%) (risk difference, 14.1%; 95% CI, 11.2-17.0; P < .001). Statin recommendation under both guidelines was associated with a CAC score greater than 0 (odds ratio, 5.1; 95% CI, 4.1-6.3; P < .001). While individuals indicated for statins under both guidelines experienced 9.6 cardiovascular events per 1000 patient-years, those indicated under only ACC/AHA guidelines were at low to intermediate risk (4.1 events per 1000 patient-years). Among individuals who were statin eligible by ACC/AHA guidelines, the 10-year ASCVD incidence per 1000 person-years was 8.1 (95% CI, 5.9-11.1) in the presence of CAC and 3.1 (95% CI, 1.6-5.9) without CAC (P = .02). While statin-eligible individuals by USPSTF guidelines did not have a significantly higher 10-year ASCVD event rate in the presence of CAC, African American individuals not eligible for statins by USPSTF guidelines had a higher ASCVD event rate in the presence of CAC (2.8 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.5-5.4) relative to without CAC (0.8 per 1000 person-years; 95%, CI 0.3-1.7) (P = .03).

Conclusions and Relevance

The USPSTF guidelines focus treatment recommendations on 38% of high-risk African American individuals at the expense of not recommending treatment in nearly 25% of African American individuals eligible for statins by ACC/AHA guidelines with vascular calcification and at low to intermediate ASCVD risk.

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