Lifestyle and biologic factors associated with atherosclerotic disease in middle-aged men. 20-year findings from the Honolulu Heart Program

Arch Intern Med. 1995 Apr 10;155(7):686-94.


Objectives: To examine the association between a variety of baseline lifestyle and biologic factors in a middle-aged cohort of Japanese-American men and the 20-year incidence rates of total atherosclerotic end points and each of the initial clinical manifestations of this disease, including fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease, angina pectoris, thromboembolic strokes, and aortic aneurysms.

Design: Prospective epidemiologic study.

Population: Japanese-American men (N = 2710) between the ages of 55 and 64 years at the time of the initial clinical examination of the Honolulu Heart Program (1965 through 1968) free from evidence of coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, or aortic aneurysms.

Results: Among the men studied, 602 atherosclerotic events developed during the 23-year period of follow-up (1965 through 1988). After adjustment for each of the baseline characteristics examined, significant positive associations between quartile cutoffs of body mass index, systolic blood pressure, serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and uric acid, as well as cigarette smoking, and the occurrence of any atherosclerotic end point were seen, while an inverse association with alcohol consumption was observed. Characteristics associated with the development of other fatal and nonfatal clinical events in this cohort, including coronary heart disease, thromboembolic stroke, and aortic aneurysms are presented with accompanying relative and attributable risks.

Conclusions: The results of this prospective epidemiologic study provide insights to the long-term predictive utility of the commonly accepted risk factors for coronary heart disease in relation to the different clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis in a middle-aged male cohort followed up for approximately 20 years. These results provide additional support for risk factor modification in middle-aged men and for the encouragement of positive long-term lifestyle changes.

MeSH terms

  • Arteriosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Hawaii / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / ethnology
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors