Race and Sex Differences in Modifiable Risk Factors and Incident Heart Failure

Danielle M. Kubicki, Meng Xu, Elvis A. Akwo, Debra Dixon, Daniel Muñoz, William J. Blot, Thomas J. Wang, Loren Lipworth, Deepak K. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine race- and sex-based variation in the associations between modifiable risk factors and incident heart failure (HF) among the SCCS (Southern Community Cohort Study) participants. Background: Low-income individuals in the southeastern United States have high HF incidence rates, but relative contributions of risk factors to HF are understudied in this population. Methods: We studied 27,078 black or white SCCS participants (mean age: 56 years, 69% black, 63% women) enrolled between 2002 and 2009, without prevalent HF, receiving Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The presence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, physical underactivity, high body mass index, smoking, high cholesterol, and poor diet was assessed at enrollment. Incident HF was ascertained using International Classification of Diseases-9th revision, codes 428.x in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data through December 31, 2010. Individual risk and population attributable risk for HF for each risk factor were quantified using multivariable Cox models. Results: During a median (25th, 75th percentile) 5.2 (3.1, 6.7) years, 4,341 (16%) participants developed HF. Hypertension and diabetes were associated with greatest HF risk, whereas hypertension contributed the greatest population attributable risk, 31.8% (95% confidence interval: 27.3 to 36.0). In black participants, only hypertension and diabetes associated with HF risk; in white participants, smoking and high body mass index also associated with HF risk. Physical underactivity was a risk factor only in white women. Conclusions: In this high-risk, low-income cohort, contributions of risk factors to HF varied, particularly by race. To reduce the population burden of HF, interventions tailored for specific race and sex groups may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-130
Number of pages9
JournalJACC: Heart Failure
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Southeast
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • low-income
  • physical activity
  • public health


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