Aims: Understanding the determinants of social and coping inequalities in subclinical cardiovascular disease is an important prerequisite in developing and implementing preventive strategies. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between social factors and coping status, respectively, and subclinical coronary artery disease (CAD) in middle-aged Danes. Methods: This is a DanRisk screening substudy, thus including healthy Danish males and females aged 50 or 60 years. Social measures included grade of education, employment and co-habiting status. The coping status was estimated by the general self-efficacy (GES) scale. Coronary artery calcification (CAC) was assessed by computed tomography using the Agatston score (AS). Conventional clinical risk factors included sex, family history of CAD, BMI > 25, smoking, hypercholesterolaemia and hypertension. Results: In 568 individuals the prevalence of subjects with CAC was 267 (45%). Independent predictors of CAC in males were age (OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.04–1.16, p < 0.001), smoking (OR = 1.75, 95% CI = 1.03–2.99, p = 0.038), and low co-habiting status (OR = 3.66, 95% CI = 1.19–11.25, p = 0.023). Independent predictors in females were age (OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.02–1.12, p = 0.006), and smoking (OR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.06–2.78, p = 0.029). Higher AS was associated to lower employment level in females (p = 0.001) but not in males (p = 0.833). Conclusions: Social factors are associated to the prevalence and severity of CAC in asymptomatic middle-aged individuals with gender differences. The relative value of gender specific social versus conventional clinical risk factors in the risk assessment of subclinical CAC in middle-aged individuals needs further investigation in future prospective studies.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2013, Vol 41, Issue 7, p. 737-743