Background: Plasma lipids are risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) in part because of race-specific associations of lipids with CHD. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to understand why CHD risk equations underperform in Black adults. Methods: Between 2003 and 2007, the REGARDS (REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) cohort recruited 30,239 Black and White individuals aged ≥45 years from the contiguous United States. We used Cox regression models adjusted for clinical and behavioral risk factors to estimate the race-specific hazard of plasma lipid levels with incident CHD (myocardial infarction or CHD death). Results: Among 23,901 CHD-free participants (57.8% White and 58.4% women, mean age 64 ± 9 years) over a median 10 years of follow-up, 664 and 951 CHD events occurred among Black and White adults, respectively. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides were associated with increased risk of CHD in both races (P interaction by race >0.10). For sex-specific clinical HDL-C categories: low HDL-C was associated with increased CHD risk in White (HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 1.05-1.43) but not in Black (HR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.78-1.14) adults (P interaction by race = 0.08); high HDL-C was not associated with decreased CHD events in either race (HR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.79-1.16 for White participants and HR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.74-1.12 for Black adults). Conclusions: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides modestly predicted CHD risk in Black and White adults. Low HDL-C was associated with increased CHD risk in White but not Black adults, and high HDL-C was not protective in either group. Current high-density lipoprotein cholesterol–based risk calculations could lead to inaccurate risk assessment in Black adults.
- health disparities
- myocardial infarction
- public health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine