Ethnic differences in aortic valve thickness and related clinical factors

Yukiko Sashida, Carlos J. Rodriguez, Bernadette Boden-Albala, Zhezhen Jin, Mitchell S V Elkind, Rui Liu, Tatjana Rundek, Ralph L. Sacco, Marco R. DiTullio, Shunichi Homma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prior studies suggest that the causes of calcific aortic valve (AV) disease involve chronic inflammation, lipoprotein levels, and calcium metabolism, all of which may differ among race-ethnic groups. We sought to determine whether AV thickness differs by race-ethnicity in a large multiethnic population-based cohort. Methods: The Northern Manhattan Study includes stroke-free community-based Hispanic (57%), non-Hispanic black (22%), and non-Hispanic white (21%) participants. The relation between AV thickness on transthoracic echocardiography and clinical risk factors for atherosclerosis was evaluated among 2,085 participants using polytomous logistic regression models. Aortic valve thickness was graded in 3 categories (normal, mild, and moderate/severe) based on leaflet thickening and calcification. Results: Mild AV thickness was present in 44.4% and moderate/severe thickness in 5.7% of the cohort, with the lowest frequency of moderate/severe thickness seen particularly among Hispanic women. In multivariate models adjusting for age, sex, race-ethnicity, body mass index, hypertension, coronary artery disease, blood glucose, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, Hispanics had significantly less moderate/severe AV thickness (odds ratio 0.43, 95% CI 0.25-0.73) than non-Hispanic whites. Men were almost 2-fold as likely to have moderate/severe AV thickness compared with women (odds ratio 1.96, 95% CI 1.24-3.10). Conclusions: In this large multiethnic population-based cohort, there were ethnic differences in the degree of AV thickness. Hispanic ethnicity was strongly protective against AV thickness. This effect was not related to traditional risk factors, suggesting that unmeasured factors related to Hispanic ethnicity and AV thickness may be responsible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-704
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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