Which risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) were identified in the INTERHEART study?

Updated: May 07, 2019
  • Author: A Maziar Zafari, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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A major Canadian-led global study (INTERHEART trial) in 52 countries across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, has identified 9 easily measured risk factors (smoking, abnormal blood lipid levels, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and psychosocial factors) that account for over 90% of the risk for acute MI. [22] The INTERHEART investigators found that these risk factors are the same in almost every geographic region and every racial/ethnic group worldwide, and they are consistent in men and women. The INTERHEART trial showed that smoking 1-5 cigarettes daily increased the risk of an acute MI by 40%, and the risk increased with the amount of tobacco smoked per day. It also concluded that all forms of tobacco, including filtered and nonfiltered cigarettes, pipes and cigars, and chewing tobacco, are harmful, and that abdominal obesity is a greater risk factor than body-mass index (BMI), indicating that measurement of waist-to-hip ratio could replace BMI as an indicator of obesity. [22, 31, 32]

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