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July 24, 1995

Coronary Disease Mortality and Risk Factors in Black and White Men: Results From the Combined Charleston, SC, and Evans County, Georgia, Heart Studies

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Biometry and Epidemiology (Drs Keil, Sutherland, Lackland, and Knapp) and Cardiology (Dr Gazes), Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; Evans County Heart Study, Claxton, Ga (Dr Hames); and Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Dr Tyroler).

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(14):1521-1527. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430140094010

Background:  Epidemiologic studies begun in the southeastern United States in the 1960s indicated that the prevalence of coronary disease was two to three times greater among white men than black men and also showed an excess incidence of coronary disease among white men, although hypertension was twice as prevalent among blacks. This study was conducted to determine if racial differences exist in coronary heart disease mortality and coronary risk factors.

Methods:  Data from the two population-based cohorts of the Charleston, SC, and Evans County, Georgia, Heart Studies were pooled to make comparisons of coronary disease mortality and its risk factors. A total of 726 black men and 1346 white men aged 35 years or older in 1960 in the combined cohort were followed up for 30 years.

Results:  There were 125 deaths among the black men and 323 deaths among the white men attributable to coronary disease; the age-adjusted rates were 5.0 per 1000 person-years in the black men and 6.5 per 1000 person-years in white men. Black-white coronary mortality risk ratios were 0.8 when age adjusted and 0.7 when also adjusted for other cardiovascular risk factors. Elevated systolic blood pressure and cigarette smoking were significant predictors of coronary mortality in black and white men. Serum total cholesterol level was a statistically significant risk factor only in white men. Higher education level was significantly protective in black and white men.

Conclusions:  Black men experienced significantly less coronary disease mortality than white men. Except for cholesterol level, the risk factors for coronary mortality in black and white men were similar.(Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:1521-1527)