Achievement of optimal medical therapy goals for U.S. adults with coronary artery disease: results from the REGARDS Study (REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke)

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Apr 29;63(16):1626-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.12.042. Epub 2014 Feb 26.


Objectives: In a nonclinical trial setting, we sought to determine the proportion of individuals with coronary artery disease (CAD) with optimal risk factor levels based on the COURAGE (Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive DruG Evaluation) trial.

Background: In the COURAGE trial, the addition of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to optimal medical therapy did not reduce the risk of death or myocardial infarction in stable CAD patients but resulted in more revascularization procedures.

Methods: The REGARDS (REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke) study is a national prospective cohort study of 30,239 African-American and white community-dwelling individuals older than 45 years of age who enrolled in 2003 through 2007. We calculated the proportion of 3,167 participants with self-reported CAD meeting 7 risk factor goals based on the COURAGE trial: 1) aspirin use; 2) systolic blood pressure <130 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure <85 mm Hg (<80 mm Hg if diabetic); 3) low-density lipoprotein cholesterol <85 mg/dl, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol >40 mg/dl, and triglycerides <150 mg/dl; 4) fasting glucose <126 mg/dl; 5) nonsmoking status; 6) body mass index <25 kg/m(2); and 7) exercise ≥4 days per week.

Results: The mean age of participants was 69 ± 9 years; 33% were African American and 35% were female. Overall, the median number of goals met was 4. Less than one-fourth met ≥5 of the 7 goals, and 16% met all 3 goals for aspirin, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Older age, white race, higher income, more education, and higher physical functioning were independently associated with meeting more goals.

Conclusions: There is substantial room for improvement in risk factor reduction among U.S. individuals with CAD.

Keywords: coronary artery disease; prevention; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Artery Disease / ethnology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Racial Groups
  • Stroke / ethnology*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Fibrinolytic Agents