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Correlates of preclinical cardiovascular disease in Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians: A case control study


Haluska, BA and Chan, L and Jeffriess, L and Shaw, AA and Shaw, J and Marwick, TH, Correlates of preclinical cardiovascular disease in Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians: A case control study, Cardiovascular Ultrasound, 6 Article 36. ISSN 1476-7120 (2008) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2008 Haluska et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.1186/1476-7120-6-36


Background. The high frequency of premature death from cardiovascular disease in indigenous Australians is often attributed to the high prevalence of risk factors, especially type II diabetes mellitus (DM). We evaluated the relationship of ethnicity to atherosclerotic burden, as evidenced by carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), independent of risk factor status. Methods. We studied 227 subjects (147 men; 50 13 y): 119 indigenous subjects with (IDM, n = 54), and without DM (InDM, n = 65), 108 Caucasian subjects with (CDM, n = 52), and without DM (CnDM, n = 56). IMT was measured according to standard methods and compared with clinical data and cardiovascular risk factors. Results. In subjects both with and without DM, IMT was significantly greater in indigenous subjects. There were no significant differences in gender, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP), or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) between any of the groups, and subjects with DM showed no difference in plasma HbA1c. Cardiovascular risk factors were significantly more prevalent in indigenous subjects. Nonetheless, ethnicity (β = -0.34; p < 0.0001), age (β = 0.48; p < 0.0001), and smoking (β = 0.13; p < 0.007) were independent predictors of IMT in multiple linear regression models. Conclusion. Ethnicity appears to be an independent correlate of preclinical cardiovascular disease, even after correction for the high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in indigenous Australians. Standard approaches to control currently known risk factors are vital to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease, but in themselves may be insufficient to fully address the high prevalence in this population.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia; Cardiovascular Diseases; Carotid Artery, Common; Case-Control Studies; Diabetes Mellitus; Female; Humans; Hypertension; Male; Middle Aged; Oceanic Ancestry Group; Risk Factors; Tunica Intima; Tunica Media
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Marwick, TH (Professor Tom Marwick)
ID Code:90750
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2014-04-23
Last Modified:2014-12-15
Downloads:273 View Download Statistics

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