Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in women in the United States. The purpose of this study was to characterize the prevalence and awareness of traditional CVD risk factors, obesity, and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk classification using the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) among women attending the 2006 Sister to Sister National Woman’s Heart Day event. Results: A total of 8936 participants (mean age 49 ± 14 years) were evaluated. There was a modest prevalence of traditional risk factors on screening, including non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) > 160 mg/dL (27%), HDL-C <40 mg/dL (16%), random glucose level >140 mg/dL (6%), uncontrolled blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg (12%), current smoking (6%), and a positive family history of CHD (21%). There was a high prevalence of overweight (39%) or obese individuals (35%) (body mass index [BMI] 25–30 and ≥ 30 kg/m2, respectively), as well as those with high waist circumference (≥35 inches) (55%). Women were classified by FRS as low (85%), intermediate (6%), and high risk (9%). When cardiometabolic risk analyses included waist circumference in addition to the FRS, 59% of low-risk and 50% of intermediate-risk women had 1 or 2 risk factors, and 19% and 41% had ≥ 3 risk factors, respectively. Women were often unaware of risk factors on screening; among women without a previous diagnosis of dyslipidemia or hypertension, 48% and 7%, respectively, were given new diagnoses. Conclusions: Women participating in the 2006 Sister to Sister National Woman’s Heart Day event have a high prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors, especially dyslipidemia, obesity, and high central adiposity, that place them at higher risk for the development of CVD and other comorbidities. The newly identified multiple risk factors in this population support the value of community health screening in women.
Pollin, Irene S.; Brian G. Kral; Shattuck, Teresa; Sadler, Michele Debarthe; Boyle, Jennifer R.; McKillop, Laurene; Campbell, Catherine; Ashen, Dominique; Nasir, Khurram; Redberg, Rita F.; BrintzenhofeSzoc, Karlynn; Blumenthal, Roger S.; and Michos, Erin D., "High Prevalence of Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Women Considered Low Risk by Traditional Risk Assessment" (2008). Health Science Faculty Publications. 3.