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Cardiovascular risk factors and clinical presentation in acute coronary syndromes
  1. A Rosengren1,
  2. L Wallentin2,
  3. M Simoons3,
  4. A K Gitt4,
  5. S Behar5,
  6. A Battler6,
  7. D Hasdai5
  1. 1Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, Goteborg, Sweden
  2. 2University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  3. 3Thoraxcentre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  4. 4Klinikum der Stadt Ludwigshafen, Ludwigshafen, Germany
  5. 5Neufeld Cardiac Research Institute, Tel-Hashomer, Israel
  6. 6Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tikva, Israel
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Annika Rosengren
    Department of Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, SE-416 85 Goteborg, Sweden;


Objective: To investigate the hypothesis that risk factors may be differently related to severity of acute coronary syndromes (ACS), with ST elevation used as a marker of severe ACS.

Design: Cross sectional study of patients with ACS.

Setting: 103 hospitals in 25 countries in Europe and the Mediterranean basin.

Patients: 10 253 patients with a discharge diagnosis of ACS in the Euro heart survey of ACS.

Main outcome measures: Presenting with ST elevation ACS.

Results: Patients with ACS who were smokers had an increased risk to present with ST elevation (age adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.84, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.67 to 2.02). Hypertension (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.70) and high body mass index (BMI) (p for trend 0.0005) were associated with less ST elevation ACS. Diabetes mellitus was also associated with less ST elevation, but only among men. Prior disease (infarction, chronic angina, revascularisation) and treatment with aspirin, β blockers, or statins before admission were also associated with less ST elevation. After adjustment for age, sex, prior disease, and prior medication, smoking was still significantly associated with increased risk of ST elevation (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.38 to 1.69), whereas hypertension was associated with reduced risk (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.69 to 0.82). Obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2 versus < 25 kg/m2) was independently associated with less risk of presenting with ST elevation among women, but not among men.

Conclusion: Among patients with ACS, presenting with ST elevation is strongly associated with smoking, whereas hypertension and high BMI (in women) are associated with less ST elevation, independently of prior disease and medication.

  • ACS, acute coronary syndromes
  • AMI, acute myocardial infarction
  • ARIC, atherosclerosis risk in the communities
  • BMI, body mass index
  • CI, confidence interval
  • OR, odds ratio
  • myocardial infarction
  • unstable angina pectoris
  • acute coronary syndromes
  • smoking
  • hypertension

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  • Conflict of interest: none

  • The locally appointed ethics committees approved the study protocol, informed consent was obtained from participants if required by the ethics committee, and the study was done in compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki.