Aim: To examine whether subclinical atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries is concordant with the categories in the 2012 atherosclerosis prevention guidelines proposed by the Japan Atherosclerosis Society (JAS guidelines 2012), which adopted the estimated 10-year absolute risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) death in the NIPPON DATA80 Risk Assessment Chart.
Methods: Between 2006 and 2008, 868 Japanese men 40 to 74 years of age without a history of cardiovascular disease were randomly selected from Kusatsu City, Japan. The intima media thickness (IMT) and plaque number from the common to internal carotid arteries were investigated using ultrasonography. The absolute risk of CAD death was estimated based on the individual risk factor data, and the mean IMT and plaque number in Categories Ⅰ, Ⅱ and Ⅲ of the guidelines were examined.
Results: The estimated 10-year absolute risk of CAD was directly related to the IMT (mean IMT (mean±SD) (mm) for a 10-year absolute risk of ≥2.0% and ≥5.0%: 0.88±0.18 and 0.95±0.19, respectively) and the plaque number. These results are compatible with the categories described by the guidelines (mean IMT (mean±SD) (mm) for Categories Ⅰ, Ⅱ, and Ⅲ: 0.70±0.11, 0.81±0.16 and 0.88±0.18, respectively; mean plaque number: 0.9, 2.1 and 3, respectively). These findings were similar for Category Ⅲ participants with or without DM and CKD.
Conclusions: Subclinical atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries is concordant with the 10-year absolute risk of CAD and the categories in the JAS guidelines 2012.