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11-10-2010 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Framingham score predicts peripheral atherosclerosis in youth


Free abstract

MedWire News: The Framingham Risk Score (FRS) is associated with lower-limb atherosclerosis in asymptomatic younger adults, an analysis of the Bogalusa Heart Study has shown.

The authors say the findings support the use of the FRS in younger individuals and underscore the importance of controlling multiple vascular risk factors in youth, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking, which are included in the FRS.

Timir Paul (Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) and co-authors analyzed data on 1080 participants aged 24-43 years in the Bogalusa Heart Study, a biracial population study of the early natural history of atherosclerosis.

Participants underwent femoral ultrasonography as part of the baseline assessment. The mean femoral intima-media thickness (IMT) - a surrogate for peripheral vascular disease - varied by race and gender, at 0.75 mm for White men, 0.70 mm for Black men, 0.64 mm for White women, and 0.66 mm for Black women.

Average FRS were 1.40, 1.15, -6.15, and -6.18 in the four race/gender groups, respectively.

Writing in the journal Atherosclerosis, Paul's team reports that FRS significantly correlated with femoral IMT both overall and in each of the four race/gender groups.

IMT was also significantly associated with most individual risk factors, with the exception of log insulin and glucose levels.

When FRS were divided into tertiles, there was a significant positive trend of increased IMT in higher tertiles, and this was seen in both Black and White participants.

Finally, in multiple regression analysis, FRS, log insulin level, and body mass index were significant independent predictors of IMT; these three variables explained a total of 9.0% of variability in IMT, of which Framingham Score contributed 8.5%.

"The present study demonstrates the deleterious impact of higher Framingham Risk Scores, indicative of multiple risk factors, on the IMT of femoral artery," write Paul and co-authors.

"Taken together, these findings emphasize the adverse impact of multiple risk factors on the underlying generalized atherosclerosis."

The results also demonstrate the utility of Framingham Risk Score in assessing early peripheral vascular disease in younger individuals, they add, and "support the concept of the importance of multivariate risk profile and the attendant accelerated atherosclerosis systemically."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Joanna Lyford