Premenopausal black women are uniquely at risk for coronary heart disease compared to white women

G. T. Gerhard, G. Sexton, M. R. Malinow, R. C. Connor, S. L. Wander, A. S. Pappu, W. E. Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Premenopausal black women have a two to three-fold greater rate of coronary heart disease than premenopausal white women. This study was designed to provide greater insight into the reasons for this difference which is currently unclear. Coronary heart disease risk factors were compared in 100 black and 100 white, healthy premenopausal women, ages 18-45 years, and of relatively advantaged socioeconomic status. Compared to white women, black women had a higher body mass index (32.0±9.2 vs. 29.0±9.4 kg/m2, p = O. 021), and higher systolic (124 ± 17 vs. 115 ± 14 mm Hg, p<O. O001) and diastolic (79 ± 14 vs. 75 ± 11 mm Hg, p=0.048) blood pressures. The mean plasma lipoprotein(a) concentration was markedly higher in the black women (40.2 ± 31.3 mg/dL) than in the white women (19.2 ± 23.7 mg/dL, p<O. O001). The plasma total homocysteine level was also higher in the black women (8.80±3.38 vs. 7.81 ± 2.58 mmol/L, p=0.013). The black women, however, had lower plasma triglyceride levels (0.91 ±0.46 vs. 1.22 ± 0.60 mmol/L, p<O. O001) and a trend toward higher high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (1.37 ± 0.34 vs. 1.29 ± 0.31 mmol/L, p=0.064) than the white women. Plasma total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were similar. Black women consumed more saturated fat and cholesterol. Rates of cigarette smoking and alcohol intake were low and similar between the races. In summary, compared to white women, black women had a higher mean body mass index, higher blood pressures, higher lipoprotein(a) and plasma total homocysteine levels, and greater consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. The differences in coronary risk factors between these two premenopausal groups may explain the higher incidence of coronary heart disease in black women. (C) 2000 by CHF, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalPreventive cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Premenopausal black women are uniquely at risk for coronary heart disease compared to white women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this