Framingham risk score is related to carotid artery intima-media thickness in both white and black young adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study

Atherosclerosis. 2003 Sep;170(1):125-30. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9150(03)00244-2.


The Framingham risk score (FRS), developed in a white cohort aged 30-74 years, is increasingly used in the early risk identification for coronary artery disease (CAD). This study examines the relationship between FRS and carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT), a surrogate marker of coronary atherosclerosis, in black and white individuals aged 20-37 years. Five hundred seventeen young adults (aged 20-37 years; 71% white, 39% male) enrolled in the Bogalusa Heart Study had carotid artery ultrasonography. Age, gender, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio, cigarette smoking habit, type 2 diabetes, and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) were used to calculate FRS. Results indicated a significant, positive linear relationship between tertiles of FRS and IMT of the common, bulb, and internal carotid segments in blacks and whites alike. In a multivariate analysis including FRS, race, BMI, parental history of CAD, stroke, type 2 diabetes, or hypertension, logtriglycerides, loginsulin, alcohol consumption (ml/week), and regular physical activity, the FRS was independently associated with all three carotid segments. Further, the FRS as a main predictor variable explained relatively more of the variance in the IMT of the carotid bulb (9%) than in the common (5%) or internal (3%) carotid segments. These results support the use of FRS in both white and black young adults and underscore the importance of prevention and control of multiple risk factors in youth.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Black People*
  • Black or African American
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / blood
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / ethnology*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / physiopathology
  • Carotid Artery, Common / pathology*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / blood
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / ethnology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / physiopathology
  • Linear Models
  • Los Angeles / ethnology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Systole / physiology
  • Tunica Intima / pathology*
  • White People*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, HDL