The importance of serum total cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and smoking as predictors of cardiovascular (CVD) disease were studied in 867 men aged 55 to 74 years belonging to the Finnish cohorts of the Seven Countries Study. Men had no definite history of myocardial infarction nor any signs of cerebrovascular disease at baseline in 1974. During the 10-year follow-up 248 men either died from CVD or had non-fatal CVD event, including a total of 188 fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease (CHD) events. Age-adjusted relative risk of CVD event for men aged 55 to 64 with cholesterol over 7.4 mmol/l compared to below 6.0 mmol/l was 2.6, with systolic blood pressure over 159 mmHg vs. below 135 mmHg 1.8, and smoking over 19 cigarettes per day vs. never smoker 1.7. Corresponding relative risks for men aged 65 to 74 were 1.0,1.4 and 1.2, respectively. The results for CHD events were closely similar. The results indicate that, in terms of relative risk, systolic blood pressure retains its importance as risk factor for CVD and CHD from late middle age to old age, whereas the importance of smoking is diminished, and serum cholesterol is of little importance in old age.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Risk factors