Racial Differences in the Incidence of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Older Black and White Adults

Academic Article


  • Objectives: To describe the incidence of cardiovascular risk factors, or race-related disparities in incidence, across the age spectrum in adults. Design: Longitudinal cohort. Setting: National sample. Participants: Community-dwelling black and white adults recruited between 2003 and 2007. Measurements: Incident hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and atrial fibrillation over 10 years of follow-up in 10,801 adults, stratified according to age (45–54, 55–64, 65–74, ≥75). Results: There was no evidence (P ≥.68) of an age-related difference in the incidence of hypertension for white men (average incidence 38%), black men (48%), or black women (54%), although for white women incidence increased with age (45–54, 27%; ≥75, 40%). Incidence of diabetes mellitus was lower at older ages for white men (45–54, 15%; ≥75, 8%), black men (45–54, 29%; ≥75, 13%), and white women (45–54, 11%; ≥75, 4%), although there was no evidence (P =.11) of age-related changes for black women (average incidence 21%). For dyslipidemia, incidence for all race–sex groups was approximately 20% for aged 45 to 54 but approximately 30% for aged 54 to 64 and 65 to 74 and approximately 22% for aged 75 and older. Incidence of atrial fibrillation was low at age 45 to 54 (<5%) but for aged 75 and older was approximately 20% for whites and 11% for blacks. The incidence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia was higher in blacks across the age spectrum but lower for atrial fibrillation. Conclusion: Incidence of risk factors remains high in older adults. Blacks have a higher incidence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia after age 45, underscoring the ongoing importance of prevention of all three conditions in mid- to later life.
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    Author List

  • Howard G; Safford MM; Moy CS; Howard VJ; Kleindorfer DO; Unverzagt FW; Soliman EZ; Flaherty ML; McClure LA; Lackland DT
  • Start Page

  • 83
  • End Page

  • 90
  • Volume

  • 65
  • Issue

  • 1