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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

East Tennessee Authors Article on Coronary Artery Disease in the Rural U.S.

Dr. Hadii Mamudu, associate professor in the department of health services management and policy of the College of Public Health, and his colleagues have published an article on the prevalence of multiple modifiable risk factors for coronary artery disease in central Appalachia. The article, “The effects of multiple coronary artery disease risk factors on subclinical atherosclerosis in a rural population in the United States” was published in Preventive Medicine. 

[Photo: Dr. Hadii Mamudu]

Previous research has suggested that 80 – 90 percent of patients with coronary artery disease have at least one of the four modifiable risk factors (diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and smoking) with multiple risk factors being associated with increased risk for coronary artery disease.

This study aimed to assess the prevalence of multiple modifiable risk factors, and determine the association between the number of risk factors and subclinical atherosclerosis (as measured by coronary artery calcium) in the predominantly rural population the central Appalachian region of northeast Tennessee, western North Carolina, southeast Kentucky, and southwest Virginia.

Before undergoing a screening for coronary artery calcium, each participant completed a baseline questionnaire, which collected information on demographics, health conditions, current health behaviors, and family history of coronary artery disease. A total of 1607 individuals were included into the study.

The study revealed that almost all of the asymptomatic participants who were screened for coronary artery calcium had ≥ 1 risk factors (98.3%) and that increasing numbers of risk factors was associated with higher coronary artery calcium score, which indicates increased risk for coronary artery disease.  This study suggests that identifying people s with multiple risk factors can help to identify those at greatest risk of cardiovascular disease, and those, to whom preventive measures should be addressed.

The co-authors were Drs. Liang Wang and Arsham Alamian, and Kamrie Sarnosky (MPHc) in the department of biostatistics and epidemiology of ETSU College of Public Health, Drs. Timir Paul and Hemang Panchal in ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Dr. Veeranki in the department of preventive medicine and community health at University of Texas Medical Branch, and Professor Matthew Budoff of Division of Cardiology at UCLA.